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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Basrelief sculpture "Research holding the torch of knowledge" (1896) by Olin Levi Warner. Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, in Washington, D.C.
Basrelief sculpture "Research holding the torch of knowledge" (1896) by Olin Levi Warner. Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, in Washington, D.C.

Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications."[1] or in other hand Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue. At a general level, research consists of three steps: 1. Pose a question. 2. Collect data to answer the question. 3. Present an answer to the question. This should be a familiar process. You engage in solving problems every day and you start with a question, collect some information, and then form an answer Research is important for three reasons.1. Research adds to our knowledge: Adding to knowledge means that educators undertake research to contribute to existing information about issues 2.Research improves practice: Research is also important because it suggests improvements for practice. Armed with research results, teachers and other educators become more effective professionals. 3. Research informs policy debates: research also provides information to policy makers when they research and debate educational topics.[2]

A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. Research projects can be used to develop further knowledge on a topic, or in the example of a school research project, they can be used to further a student's research prowess to prepare them for future jobs or reports. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects or the project as a whole. The primary purposes of basic research (as opposed to applied research) are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development (R&D) of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. There are several forms of research: scientific, humanities, artistic, economic, social, business, marketing, practitioner research, life, technological, etc. The scientific study of research practices is known as meta-research.

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  • ✪ How to Do Research
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  • ✪ Psychological Research: Crash Course Psychology #2

Transcription

Hey, everybody. So, in the months since I've put up the Dionysus video, I've gotten a few emails from people asking about my sources and my process and all that jazz, and around the third time I had to answer one of those emails, I had a sudden epiphany: "Maybe this process isn't as intuitive as I thought..." So today I'm gonna share some sweet wisdom with all of you who've ever wondered "HOW THE HECK TO DO I DO RESEARCH?" Now, I'm gonna start at the very beginning of the process and it's probably not what you're expecting to hear This may be a bit shocking, and I'd advise elderly members of the audience to take a seat first, maybe check their blood pressure before I get to it We good? Everyone's sitting comfortably? Okay. The absolute first step to any research project is... WIKIPEDIA No, really. I learned this in university, from a real professor and everything We all learned years ago that you're never supposed to cite Wikipedia, and this is completely true. *Nobody* trusts it as a source. It would be like citing something you read off the side of a subway car But what Wikipedia *is* good at is directing you to ACTUAL sources. Right at the bottom, in that sweet little references section, is a goldmine of all kinds of sources And even better, the contect of the article tells you what kind of information you can expect to find in those sources, and sometimes even what pages they're on. It's fantastic you can get books, websites, translated primary sources, anything and everything from the reference section So as you go through the relevant Wikipedia pages, any information that catches your eye will have a nice little citation on it. So grab that sucker and add it to the list! And when I say pages plural I mean it! Pretty much everything has its own dedicated Wikipedia page, (except for us) but that single page isn't gonna be enough to get the full picture. You want to find every page that relates to the subject matter important places, related people or groups, relevant time periods, stuff like that. Broadly, you want to get as much related stuff as you can since that'll let you contextualise the subject; learning about it in isolation only gives you a fragment of the whole picture. Get greedy with it! you want to know everything about this subject, and that means you don't need to skimp on the sources you pull together. So, once you've combed through every tangentially related Wikipedia page on your chosen subject, noted down a list of promising sources and what you expect to find in them, that's when you enter stage two: HUNTING DOWN SOME SWEET SOURCES! So now you've got a list of sources you think will lead to more information, and, the odds are good, most of them are gonna be books. So you can either check your local library catalog and see if they have the sources you need, or you can give the titles a google and see if you can find them online. Legally, of course. Sometimes Google Books has a preview available; and sometimes, it even contains the pages you need. But mostly you're gonna be looking for e-books or library copies. Now, this advice all applies pretty much universally: No matter what you're trying to research, the process of finding sources is usually going to boil down to: find a library or google it and get really lucky. But let's say, for the sake of specificity, you're researching something... historical. Like a.. mythological figure, for example. In cases like this, you're gonna need to start dealing with PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES Now broadly, if you're studying a historical thing, the primary sources are gonna be stuff that was written directly about that thing, from people who are point blank on the thing, or otherwise had first-hand experience with its thing-ness. The secondary sources are the stuff written about the primary sources, and thus they're at least one degree of separation away from the original thing. And the number one rule in any kind of research is you always want to find the primary sources first. If they still exist, they don't always. If you're trying to learn about something, and you have the option of reading a bunch of first-person accounts of that thing or a book somebody wrote about those first-person accounts of that thing, choose the first-person accounts. It'll take longer to get through but you'll get a much more accurate perspective. No text is free from bias, but the fartheraway the writer was from the subject they're writing about, the more bias will be present in their interpretation. It's like in the giant n-dimensional game of telephone that is history: The actual thing you're trying to research is the starting person, and the primary sources are all the people right next to the starting thing who *probably* heard it pretty clearly. But all the secondary sources are from farther down the line, where you're starting to get garbled interpretations of interpretations, and maybe somebody along the way started actively messing with the other players by not actually repeating what they heard in the first place. And... it's a mess. Basically, if you want the clearest image possible of the thing you find the primary sources. Now again, purely hypothetically let's say you're researching a... Greek god or something, and you want to know what they were like back in the day. your primary sources are going to be the myths about that God or the hymns recorded in their worship. And even then, it's important to note that these sources were most likely translated from the original Ancient Greek to English, and that translation adds a layer of bias as well. Really, for the sake of your own sanity you've got to accept that you'll never be able to find the clear unvarnished truth of the thing, but the closer you get the clearer the image will be. But while primary sources will give you a good look at the thing in question, you actually *do* need secondary sources. Specifically, you need secondary sources that help you contextualize the primary sources. To understand the possible biases and factors present in the primary sources, you want to know who wrote them and when and what exactly was happening at the time. Primary sources let you examine the thing, secondary sources let you examine the primary sources. And it's very important to do both when you're doing research. You can't just take these sources at face value, (TRUST NO ONE) and you gotta be aware that the writers all had their personal take on the subject. And the more you know about that take, the more you'll be able to extrapolate what parts of the original thing they might have been minimizing or putting the spotlight on. It'll help you get a clearer picture of the original. It's also important not to shy away from credible sources of information that don't seem to fit with what you already know about the subject ]If you're only looking for stuff that agrees with you, you're not actually doing research; you're just looking to confirm what you already think. But this is another reason why it's very important to look at the context for your sources, to judge whether or not they're actually credible. if your conflicting information is coming from... I don't know, someone's unsourced Tumblr post, you might not want to assign it as much literary weight as the complete works of Homer. Context for your sources is seriously everything, I can't stress that enough. So you find the myths and the hymns, and then you find other versions of the same myths and hymns, and then you find some secondary sources talking about the authors of those myths and hymns, and you've got so much information about this mythical figure and the people who wrote about them, and when all this happened and you don't know what to do with it. This brings me to the next step: BURY YOURSELF IN NOTES Take notes on everything. No, really. This isn't like class notes, where you write stuff down so you can pass tests on it later. This is a whole different ballgame. If you're researching a historical or mythical figure, write down EVERYTHING they did. If you've got accounts from different time periods, write down when they're from and who put them down. Anything interesting about the writers lives? Write that down too. If your general approach to note-taking is the same as mine, as in "Eh I’ll remember this I don't need to write it down" that doesn't apply here. It doesn't matter if you think you'll remember it you want to write it down anyway, because this isn't about memorizing, it's about putting all your information in one place so you can deal with it all at once later. In your notes, you want to distill down everything you could possibly use from the original sources. You want to make it so you never have to return to the original text, because everything you could possibly be looking for is right there. If you're writing a paper or something else that needs direct attribution, maybe note down some useful quotes with page numbers too, just to make your life easier down the line. This will leave you with a giant pile of information loosely connected the actual subject at hand. And if you're wondering what you're supposed to do with this pile... BREAK OUT THE THUMBTACKS AND STRINGS Who's ready to connect some dots? Now that you have a huge heap of everything you know about this person, place or thing, you get to start on the fun part: filling in the gaps. You have to take the mess of information you've acquired, organize it into categories, lay it all out and start bringing the big picture together. This is where you get to be creative. You have all these static points of data, you just need to find a... best-fitting curve that connects all the dots into one coherent narrative. Basically, a thesis that all the evidence you've collected supports. It's pure creative puzzle solving and it's gonna be great. By the way, if there was any justice in the world this is what high school English teachers would tell you when they assign essays. But since they almost always make you figure out the thesis statement first, they basically flip the whole process upside down by making you figure out the big picture rundown before you get any actual evidence. It's dumb. Don't do that. So, once you've constructed your thesis out of thumbtacks and yarn you just gotta polish it up to be presentable. That's a whole other video Blue already did. So if you're curious, go ahead and check that out. Now if you'll excuse me, I have some conspiracies to unearth. Later! *Belch* Oh God

Contents

Etymology

Aristotle, (384–322 BC), one of the early figures in the development of the scientific method.[3]
Aristotle, (384–322 BC), one of the early figures in the development of the scientific method.[3]

The word research is derived from the Middle French "recherche", which means "to go about seeking", the term itself being derived from the Old French term "recerchier" a compound word from "re-" + "cerchier", or "sercher", meaning 'search'.[4] The earliest recorded use of the term was in 1577.[4]

Definitions

Research has been defined in a number of different ways, and while there are similarities, there does not appear to be a single, all-encompassing definition that is embraced by all who engage in it.

One definition of research is used by the OECD, "Any creative systematic activity undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this knowledge to devise new applications."[5]

Another definition of research is given by John W. Creswell, who states that "research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question.[6]

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws"[4]

Forms of research

Original research is research that is not exclusively based on a summary, review or synthesis of earlier publications on the subject of research. This material is of a primary source character. The purpose of the original research is to produce new knowledge, rather than to present the existing knowledge in a new form (e.g., summarized or classified).[7][8]

Original research can take a number of forms, depending on the discipline it pertains to. In experimental work, it typically involves direct or indirect observation of the researched subject(s), e.g., in the laboratory or in the field, documents the methodology, results, and conclusions of an experiment or set of experiments, or offers a novel interpretation of previous results. In analytical work, there are typically some new (for example) mathematical results produced, or a new way of approaching an existing problem. In some subjects which do not typically carry out experimentation or analysis of this kind, the originality is in the particular way existing understanding is changed or re-interpreted based on the outcome of the work of the researcher.[9]

The degree of originality of the research is among major criteria for articles to be published in academic journals and usually established by means of peer review.[10] Graduate students are commonly required to perform original research as part of a dissertation.[11]

Scientific research is a systematic way of gathering data and harnessing curiosity. This research provides scientific information and theories for the explanation of the nature and the properties of the world. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research is funded by public authorities, by charitable organizations and by private groups, including many companies. Scientific research can be subdivided into different classifications according to their academic and application disciplines. Scientific research is a widely used criterion for judging the standing of an academic institution, but some argue that such is an inaccurate assessment of the institution, because the quality of research does not tell about the quality of teaching (these do not necessarily correlate).[12]

Research in the humanities involves different methods such as for example hermeneutics and semiotics. Humanities scholars usually do not search for the ultimate correct answer to a question, but instead, explore the issues and details that surround it. Context is always important, and context can be social, historical, political, cultural, or ethnic. An example of research in the humanities is historical research, which is embodied in historical method. Historians use primary sources and other evidence to systematically investigate a topic, and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past. Other studies aim to merely examine the occurrence of behaviours in societies and communities, without particularly looking for reasons or motivations to explain these. These studies may be qualitative or quantitative, and can use a variety of approaches, such as queer theory or feminist theory.[13]

Artistic research, also seen as 'practice-based research', can take form when creative works are considered both the research and the object of research itself. It is the debatable body of thought which offers an alternative to purely scientific methods in research in its search for knowledge and truth.

Scientific research

Primary scientific research being carried out at the Microscopy Laboratory of the Idaho National Laboratory
Primary scientific research being carried out at the Microscopy Laboratory of the Idaho National Laboratory
Scientific research equipment at MIT
Scientific research equipment at MIT

Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural process. Though step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied:

  1. Observations and formation of the topic: Consists of the subject area of one's interest and following that subject area to conduct subject related research. The subject area should not be randomly chosen since it requires reading a vast amount of literature on the topic to determine the gap in the literature the researcher intends to narrow. A keen interest in the chosen subject area is advisable. The research will have to be justified by linking its importance to already existing knowledge about the topic.
  2. Hypothesis: A testable prediction which designates the relationship between two or more variables.
  3. Conceptual definition: Description of a concept by relating it to other concepts.
  4. Operational definition: Details in regards to defining the variables and how they will be measured/assessed in the study.
  5. Gathering of data: Consists of identifying a population and selecting samples, gathering information from or about these samples by using specific research instruments. The instruments used for data collection must be valid and reliable.
  6. Analysis of data: Involves breaking down the individual pieces of data to draw conclusions about it.
  7. Data Interpretation: This can be represented through tables, figures, and pictures, and then described in words.
  8. Test, revising of hypothesis
  9. Conclusion, reiteration if necessary

A common misconception is that a hypothesis will be proven (see, rather, null hypothesis). Generally, a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected (see falsifiability). However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true.

A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case, a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it. Researchers can also use a null hypothesis, which states no relationship or difference between the independent or dependent variables.

Historical research

German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), considered to be one of the founders of modern source-based history
German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886), considered to be one of the founders of modern source-based history

The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use historical sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. There are various history guidelines that are commonly used by historians in their work, under the headings of external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis. This includes lower criticism and sensual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following concepts are part of most formal historical research:[14]

Artistic research

The controversial trend of artistic teaching becoming more academics-oriented is leading to artistic research being accepted as the primary mode of enquiry in art as in the case of other disciplines.[15] One of the characteristics of artistic research is that it must accept subjectivity as opposed to the classical scientific methods. As such, it is similar to the social sciences in using qualitative research and intersubjectivity as tools to apply measurement and critical analysis.[16]

Artistic research has been defined by the University of Dance and Circus (Dans och Cirkushögskolan, DOCH), Stockholm in the following manner – "Artistic research is to investigate and test with the purpose of gaining knowledge within and for our artistic disciplines. It is based on artistic practices, methods, and criticality. Through presented documentation, the insights gained shall be placed in a context."[17] Artistic research aims to enhance knowledge and understanding with presentation of the arts.[18] A more simple understanding by Julian Klein defines Artistic Research as any kind of research employing the artistic mode of perception.[19] For a survey of the central problematics of today's Artistic Research, see Giaco Schiesser.[20]

According to artist Hakan Topal, in artistic research, "perhaps more so than other disciplines, intuition is utilized as a method to identify a wide range of new and unexpected productive modalities".[21] Most writers, whether of fiction or non-fiction books, also have to do research to support their creative work. This may be factual, historical, or background research. Background research could include, for example, geographical or procedural research.[22]

The Society for Artistic Research (SAR) publishes the triannual Journal for Artistic Research (JAR),[23][24] an international, online, open access, and peer-reviewed journal for the identification, publication, and dissemination of artistic research and its methodologies, from all arts disciplines and it runs the Research Catalogue (RC),[25][26][27] a searchable, documentary database of artistic research, to which anyone can contribute.

Patricia Leavy addresses eight arts-based research (ABR) genres: narrative inquiry, fiction-based research, poetry, music, dance, theatre, film, and visual art.[28]

In 2016 ELIA (European League of the Institutes of the Arts) launched The Florence Principles' on the Doctorate in the Arts.[29] The Florence Principles relating to the Salzburg Principles and the Salzburg Recommendations of EUA (European University Association) name seven points of attention to specify the Doctorate / PhD in the Arts compared to a scientific doctorate / PhD The Florence Principles have been endorsed and are supported also by AEC, CILECT, CUMULUS and SAR.

Documentary research

Steps in conducting research

Research is often conducted using the hourglass model structure of research.[30] The hourglass model starts with a broad spectrum for research, focusing in on the required information through the method of the project (like the neck of the hourglass), then expands the research in the form of discussion and results. The major steps in conducting research are:[31]

  • Identification of research problem
  • Literature review
  • Specifying the purpose of research
  • Determining specific research questions
  • Specification of a conceptual framework, sometimes including a set of hypotheses[32]
  • Choice of a methodology (for data collection)
  • Data collection
  • Verifying data
  • Analyzing and interpreting the data
  • Reporting and evaluating research
  • Communicating the research findings and, possibly, recommendations

The steps generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps.[33] Most research begins with a general statement of the problem, or rather, the purpose for engaging in the study.[34] The literature review identifies flaws or holes in previous research which provides justification for the study. Often, a literature review is conducted in a given subject area before a research question is identified. A gap in the current literature, as identified by a researcher, then engenders a research question. The research question may be parallel to the hypothesis. The hypothesis is the supposition to be tested. The researcher(s) collects data to test the hypothesis. The researcher(s) then analyzes and interprets the data via a variety of statistical methods, engaging in what is known as empirical research. The results of the data analysis in rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis are then reported and evaluated. At the end, the researcher may discuss avenues for further research. However, some researchers advocate for the reverse approach: starting with articulating findings and discussion of them, moving "up" to identification of a research problem that emerges in the findings and literature review. The reverse approach is justified by the transactional nature of the research endeavor where research inquiry, research questions, research method, relevant research literature, and so on are not fully known until the findings have fully emerged and been interpreted.

Rudolph Rummel says, "... no researcher should accept any one or two tests as definitive. It is only when a range of tests are consistent over many kinds of data, researchers, and methods can one have confidence in the results."[35]

Plato in Meno talks about an inherent difficulty, if not a paradox, of doing research that can be paraphrased in the following way, "If you know what you're searching for, why do you search for it?! [i.e., you have already found it] If you don't know what you're searching for, what are you searching for?!"[36]

Research methods

The research room at the New York Public Library, an example of secondary research in progress
The research room at the New York Public Library, an example of secondary research in progress
Maurice Hilleman, the preeminent vaccinologist of the 20th century, is credited with saving more lives than any other scientist in that time[37]
Maurice Hilleman, the preeminent vaccinologist of the 20th century, is credited with saving more lives than any other scientist in that time[37]

The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. This process takes three main forms (although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be obscure):

There are two major types of empirical research design: qualitative research and quantitative research. Researchers choose qualitative or quantitative methods according to the nature of the research topic they want to investigate and the research questions they aim to answer:

Qualitative research
This involves understanding human behavior and the reasons that govern such behavior, by asking a broad question, collecting data in the form of words, images, video etc. that is analyzed, and searching for themes. This type of research aims to investigate a question without attempting to quantifiably measure variables or look to potential relationships between variables. It is viewed as more restrictive in testing hypotheses because it can be expensive and time-consuming and typically limited to a single set of research subjects.[citation needed] Qualitative research is often used as a method of exploratory research as a basis for later quantitative research hypotheses.[citation needed] Qualitative research is linked with the philosophical and theoretical stance of social constructionism.

Social media posts are used for qualitative research.[38]

Quantitative research
This involves systematic empirical investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships, by asking a narrow question and collecting numerical data to analyze it utilizing statistical methods. The quantitative research designs are experimental, correlational, and survey (or descriptive).[39] Statistics derived from quantitative research can be used to establish the existence of associative or causal relationships between variables. Quantitative research is linked with the philosophical and theoretical stance of positivism.

The quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories.[citation needed] These methods produce results that are easy to summarize, compare, and generalize.[citation needed] Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest.

If the research question is about people, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments (this is the only way that a quantitative study can be considered a true experiment).[citation needed] If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants.[40]

In either qualitative or quantitative research, the researcher(s) may collect primary or secondary data. Primary data is data collected specifically for the research, such as through interviews or questionnaires. Secondary data is data that already exists, such as census data, which can be re-used for the research. It is good ethical research practice to use secondary data wherever possible.[41]

Mixed-method research, i.e. research that includes qualitative and quantitative elements, using both primary and secondary data, is becoming more common.[42] This method has benefits that using one method alone cannot offer. For example, a researcher may choose to conduct a qualitative study and follow it up with a quantitative study to gain additional insights.[43]

Big data has brought big impacts on research methods so that now many researchers do not put much effort into data collection; furthermore, methods to analyze easily available huge amounts of data have also been developed.[44]

Non-empirical research

Non-empirical (theoretical) research is an approach that involves the development of theory as opposed to using observation and experimentation. As such, non-empirical research seeks solutions to problems using existing knowledge as its source. This, however, does not mean that new ideas and innovations cannot be found within the pool of existing and established knowledge. Non-empirical research is not an absolute alternative to empirical research because they may be used together to strengthen a research approach. Neither one is less effective than the other since they have their particular purpose in science. Typically empirical research produces observations that need to be explained; then theoretical research tries to explain them, and in so doing generates empirically testable hypotheses; these hypotheses are then tested empirically, giving more observations that may need further explanation; and so on. See Scientific method.

A simple example of a non-empirical task is the prototyping of a new drug using a differentiated application of existing knowledge; another is the development of a business process in the form of a flow chart and texts where all the ingredients are from established knowledge. Much of cosmological research is theoretical in nature. Mathematics research does not rely on externally available data; rather, it seeks to prove theorems about mathematical objects.

Research ethics

Research ethics is concerned with the moral issues that arise during or as a result of research activities, as well as the ethical conduct of researchers. Historically, the revelation of scandals such as Nazi human experimentation and the Tuskegee syphilis experiment led to the realisation that clear measures are needed for the ethical governance of research to ensure that people, animals and environments are not unduly harmed in research.

When making ethical decisions, we may be guided by different things and philosophers commonly distinguish between approaches like deontology, consequentialism, virtue ethics and value (ethics). Regardless of approach, the application of ethical theory to specific controversial topics is known as applied ethics and research ethics can be viewed as a form of applied ethics because ethical theory is applied in real-world research scenarios.

Ethical issues may arise in the design and implementation of research involving human experimentation or animal experimentation. There may also be consequences for the environment, for society or for future generations that need to be considered. Research ethics is most developed as a concept in medical research, the most notable Code being the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. Research in other fields such as social sciences, information technology, biotechnology, or engineering may generate different types of ethical concerns to those in medical research.[45][46][47][48]

Nowadays, research ethics is commonly distinguished from matters of research integrity that includes issues such as: scientific misconduct (such as fraud, fabrication of data and plagiarism), etc.

Problems in research

Meta-research

Meta-research is the study of research through the use of research methods. Also known as "research on research", it aims to reduce waste and increase the quality of research in all fields. Meta-research concerns itself with the detection of bias, methodological flaws, and other errors and inefficiencies. Among the finding of meta-research is a low rates of reproducibility across a large number of fields. This widespread difficulty in reproducing research has been termed the "replication crisis."[49]

Methods of research

In many disciplines, Western methods of conducting research are predominant.[50] Researchers are overwhelmingly taught Western methods of data collection and study. The increasing participation of indigenous peoples as researchers has brought increased attention to the lacuna in culturally-sensitive methods of data collection.[51] Western methods of data collection may not be the most accurate or relevant for research on non-Western societies. For example, "Hua Oranga" was created as a criterion for psychological evaluation in Māori populations, and is based on dimensions of mental health important to the Māori people – "taha wairua (the spiritual dimension), taha hinengaro (the mental dimension), taha tinana (the physical dimension), and taha whanau (the family dimension)".[52]

Linguicism

Periphery scholars face the challenges of exclusion and linguicism in research and academic publication. As the great majority of mainstream academic journals are written in English, multilingual periphery scholars often must translate their work to be accepted to elite Western-dominated journals.[53] Multilingual scholars' influences from their native communicative styles can be assumed to be incompetence instead of difference.[54]

Publication peer review

Peer review is a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Usually, the peer review process involves experts in the same field who are consulted by editors to give a review of the scholarly works produced by a colleague of theirs from an unbiased and impartial point of view, and this is usually done free of charge. The tradition of peer reviews being done for free has however brought many pitfalls which are also indicative of why most peer reviewers decline many invitations to review.[55] It was observed that publications from periphery countries rarely rise to the same elite status as those of North America and Europe, because limitations on the availability of resources including high-quality paper and sophisticated image-rendering software and printing tools render these publications less able to satisfy standards currently carrying formal or informal authority in the publishing industry.[54] These limitations in turn result in the under-representation of scholars from periphery nations among the set of publications holding prestige status relative to the quantity and quality of those scholars' research efforts, and this under-representation in turn results in disproportionately reduced acceptance of the results of their efforts as contributions to the body of knowledge available worldwide.

Influence of the open-access movement

The open access movement assumes that all information generally deemed useful should be free and belongs to a "public domain", that of "humanity".[56] This idea gained prevalence as a result of Western colonial history and ignores alternative conceptions of knowledge circulation. For instance, most indigenous communities consider that access to certain information proper to the group should be determined by relationships.[56]

There is alleged to be a double standard in the Western knowledge system. On the one hand, "digital right management" used to restrict access to personal information on social networking platforms is celebrated as a protection of privacy, while simultaneously when similar functions are used by cultural groups (i.e. indigenous communities) this is denounced as "access control" and reprehended as censorship.[56]

Future perspectives

Even though Western dominance seems to be prominent in research, some scholars, such as Simon Marginson, argue for "the need [for] a plural university world".[57] Marginson argues that the East Asian Confucian model could take over the Western model.

This could be due to changes in funding for research both in the East and the West. Focussed on emphasizing educational achievement, East Asian cultures, mainly in China and South Korea, have encouraged the increase of funding for research expansion.[57] In contrast, in the Western academic world, notably in the United Kingdom as well as in some state governments in the United States, funding cuts for university research have occurred, which some[who?] say may lead to the future decline of Western dominance in research.

Professionalisation

In several national and private academic systems, the professionalisation of research has resulted in formal job titles.

In Russia

In present-day Russia, the former Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet states the term researcher (Russian: Научный сотрудник, nauchny sotrudnik) is both a generic term for a person who carried out scientific research, as well as a job position within the frameworks of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Soviet universities, and in other research-oriented establishments.

The following ranks are known:

  • Junior Researcher (Junior Research Associate)
  • Researcher (Research Associate)
  • Senior Researcher (Senior Research Associate)
  • Leading Researcher (Leading Research Associate)[58]
  • Chief Researcher (Chief Research Associate)

Publishing

Cover of the first issue of Nature, 4 November 1869
Cover of the first issue of Nature, 4 November 1869

Academic publishing is a system that is necessary for academic scholars to peer review the work and make it available for a wider audience. The system varies widely by field and is also always changing, if often slowly. Most academic work is published in journal article or book form. There is also a large body of research that exists in either a thesis or dissertation form. These forms of research can be found in databases explicitly for theses and dissertations. In publishing, STM publishing is an abbreviation for academic publications in science, technology, and medicine. Most established academic fields have their own scientific journals and other outlets for publication, though many academic journals are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields. The kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions of knowledge or research vary greatly between fields, from the print to the electronic format. A study suggests that researchers should not give great consideration to findings that are not replicated frequently.[59] It has also been suggested that all published studies should be subjected to some measure for assessing the validity or reliability of its procedures to prevent the publication of unproven findings.[60] Business models are different in the electronic environment. Since about the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. Presently, a major trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is open access.[61] There are two main forms of open access: open access publishing, in which the articles or the whole journal is freely available from the time of publication, and self-archiving, where the author makes a copy of their own work freely available on the web.

Research funding

Most funding for scientific research comes from three major sources: corporate research and development departments; private foundations, for example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; and government research councils such as the National Institutes of Health in the USA[62] and the Medical Research Council in the UK. These are managed primarily through universities and in some cases through military contractors. Many senior researchers (such as group leaders) spend a significant amount of their time applying for grants for research funds. These grants are necessary not only for researchers to carry out their research but also as a source of merit. The Social Psychology Network provides a comprehensive list of U.S. Government and private foundation funding sources.

See also

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Further reading

  • Groh, Arnold (2018). Research Methods in Indigenous Contexts. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-72774-5.
  • Cohen, N.; Arieli, T. (2011). "Field research in conflict environments: Methodological challenges and snowball sampling". Journal of Peace Research. 48 (4): 423–436. doi:10.1177/0022343311405698.
  • Soeters, Joseph; Shields, Patricia and Rietjens, Sebastiaan. 2014. Handbook of Research Methods in Military Studies New York: Routledge.
  • Talja, Sanna and Pamela J. Mckenzie (2007). Editor's Introduction: Special Issue on Discursive Approaches to Information Seeking in Context, The University of Chicago Press.

External links

  • The dictionary definition of research at Wiktionary
  • Quotations related to Research at Wikiquote
  • Media related to Research at Wikimedia Commons
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