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1st Workshop on Research Methodology

29th -30th November, 2015

Organized by

Department of Community Medicine

BPS Govt. Medical College for Women, Khanpur Kalan
Venue: Dept. of Community Medicine, 3rd Floor,
Medical College Building, BPSGMC, Sonepat

Need for Research

Research process

Dr. J.P. Majra

Prof & HOD
Community Medicine
BPSGMC(W), Khanpur Kalan

Where does India stand in R&D

Why do I need to research?

Academic requirements
Participating in a scientific meet
Career prospects
Peer pressure
Planning implementing and evaluating
health care services
Generating evidence for better/ effective

Why undertake research

It provides answers for questions like what,
where, when, how and why.
Brings out information that might not be
discovered in ordinary course of life
It contributes to theory and generalizations
Verifies existing theories and facts.

Why undertake research

May enable us to predict events
Helps in establishing inter-relationships and
derive explanations
Helps developing new tools, concepts and
theories to study phenomenon.

Researcher has to see what every

one else has seen and to think what
no one else has thought.

Research is a way of thinking

More than a set of skills, research is way of
Examining critically the various aspects of
our day to day professional work
Understanding & formulating guiding
principles that govern a particular procedure
Developing & testing new theories for
enhancement of our practice.

Research is habit of questioning what we do

Systematic examination of the observed
information to find answers and
Instituting appropriate changes for more
effective professional services.

If we are in the field of health

How many patients do I see every day ?
What are most common conditions the people
suffer from?
What are causes of these conditions ?
Why do some people suffer from a particular
condition whereas others do not ?
Which is the most effective intervention for a
particular condition ?
What causes X and what are the effects of Y ?
What is the relationship between two phenomena?

I keep six honest serving men

They taught me all I know
Their names are What and Why and
When and How and Where and Who
Rudyard Kipling-1903

Research is mainly a process by which we
answer a question, using a set of rules called
scientific methods.
Research essential for
Advancement of scientific knowledge and/or
development of newer technologies and

Todays research is tomorrow's science

Research methodology: Why ??

A sound knowledge of research methodology is
essential for undertaking a valid study.
The purpose of this program on research
methodology is to provide information about
methods, procedures, and techniques that are
applicable to scientific research.
It may help to overcome psychological barrier
with regard to the subject that some among you
may have.

Importance of Knowing How

Research is done
In this scientific age, all of us are in many
ways consumers of research results and we
can use them intelligently provided we are
able to judge the adequacy of the methods
by which they have been obtained.
The knowledge of methodology helps the
consumer of research results to evaluate
them and enables him to take rational

We need to know.
Why a research study has been under taken?
how the research problem has been defined?
in what way and why the hypothesis has been
what data have been collected and what particular
method has been adopted?
why particular technique of analyzing data has been
And a host of similar other questions are usually
required to be answered concerning a research problem
or study.

Research is one of the ways to find

the answers to our questions.
When we are undertaking a research to find
out answers to a question, we are implying
that :
the process is undertaken within a
framework of a set of philosophies;
the process uses procedures, methods and
techniques that have been tested for their
validity and reliability;
the process is designed to be unbiased and

1. Philosophies:
Our philosophical orientation towards
research may stem from the academic
discipline we have been trained.

2. Validity and reliability:

Validity ensures that the correct procedures
have been applied to find answers to a
research question.
Reliability refers to the quality of a
measurement procedure that provides
repeatability and accuracy.

3. Unbiased and objective:

It means that we have taken each step in an
unbiased manner and drawn each
conclusion to best of our ability and without
introducing our own vested interest.

Adherence to these three criteria enables the

process to be called research
The degree to which these criteria are
fulfilled may vary from discipline to
In physical sciences this adherence is
expected to be more strict as compared to
social sciences.

Types of research
Research can be classified from three perspectives
1. application of the research study;
2. objectives in understanding the research;
3. Inquiry mode employed.
These three classifications are not mutually
exclusivethat is, a research study classified from
the viewpoint of application can also be classified
from the perspectives of objectives and inquiry
mode employed.

1. Application
According to Bailey (1978):
In the social science if you examine
research endeavor from the perspective
of its application, there are two broad
categories :
a) pure research
b) applied research

a. Pure research
Pure research involves developing and testing
theories and hypotheses that are intellectually
challenging to the researcher but may or may not
have practical application at the present time or in
the future.
Thus such work often involves the testing of
hypotheses containing very abstract and
specialized concept.

a. Pure research..
is also concerned with the development of
examination, verification and refinement of
research methods, procedures, techniques and
tools that form the body of research
Examples for pure research include
developing a sampling technique that can be
applied to particular situation;
finding the best way of measuring peoples

a. Pure research..
The knowledge produced through pure
research is sought in order to add to the
existing body of knowledge of research
Pure research is also known as fundamental
research or basic research

b. Applied research
Most of the research in social sciences is applied.
In other words the research techniques, procedures
and methods that form the body of research
methodology are applied to the collection of
information about various aspects of a situation,
issue, problems or phenomenon
so that information gathered can be used in other
wayssuch as for policy formulation,
administration and the enhancement of
understanding of a phenomenon.

2. Objectives
If you examine research study from the
perspective of its objectives, broadly a
research endeavor can be classified as
a) Descriptive,
b) Co-relational,
c) Explanatory
d) Exploratory.

a. Descriptive research
A study classified as descriptive research
attempts to describe systematically a situation,
problem, phenomenon, service and program, or
provides information about, say, the living
conditions of a community, or describes
attitudes towards an issue.
For example, it may attempt to describe
the types of service provided by an
the living conditions of people in the outbreak,

a. Descriptive research.
the needs of a community,
the attitudes of the employees towards
The main purpose of such studies is to
describe what is prevalent with respect to
the issue/problem under study.

b. Co-relational research
The main emphasis in a co-relational
research study is to
discover or establish the existence of
between two or more aspects of a situation.
What is the relationship between stressful
living and the incidence of heart attack?

b. Co-relational research
What is the relationship between fertility
and mortality?
What is the effect of a health service on the
control of the disease
These studies examine whether there is a
relationship between two or more aspects of
a situation or phenomenon and, therefore,
are called co-relational studies.

c. Explanatory research
Explanatory research attempts to clarify
why and how there is a relationship between
two aspects of a situation or phenomenon.
This type of research attempt to explain, for
why stressful living result in heart attacks;
why a decline in morality is followed by
fertility decline;

d. Exploratory research
This is when a study undertaken with the objective
either to explore an area where little is known or to
investigate the possibilities of undertaking a particular
research studies.
When a study is carried out to determine its feasibility it
is also called a feasibility study or a pilot study.
It is usually carried out when a researcher wants to
explore area about which she/he has little or no
A small-scale study is undertaken to decide if it is worth
carrying out a detailed investigation.

Although, theoretically, a research study
can be classified in one of the above
perspective, in practice most studies are a
combination of the first three categories;
that is, they contain elements of descriptive,
co-relational and explanatory research.

3. Inquiry mode
The third perspective in our typology of
research concerns the process you adopt to
find answers to your research questions.
Broadly, there are two approach to inquiry:
1. The structured approach;
2. The unstructured approach;

Structured approach
The structured approach to inquiry is usually
as quantitative research.
In the structured approach everything that
forms the research processobjectives,
design, sample, and the questions that we plan
to ask from respondentsis predetermined.
The structured approach is more appropriate to
determine the extent of a problem, issue or

Unstructured approach
Unstructured approach to inquiry is usually
a qualitative research.
The unstructured approach, by contrast,
allows flexibility in all these aspect of the
The unstructured approach is more
appropriate to explore the nature of a
problem, issue or phenomenon;

Characteristics of a good research


Valid and verifiable,
Empirical and

1. Controlled
The concept of control implies that, in exploring
causality in relation to two variables, you set of your
study in a way that minimizes the effects if the other
factors affecting the relationship.
This can be achieved to a large extent in the physical
sciences, as most of the research is done in a laboratory.
However, in the social sciences it is extremely difficult
as research is carried out on issue relating to human
beings living in society, where such controls are
Therefore in the social sciences, as you cannot control
external factors, you attempt to quantify their impact.

2. Rigorous
You are ensuring that the procedures
followed to find answers to questions are
relevant, appropriate and justified.
Again, the degree of rigor varies markedly
between the physical and social sciences
and within the social science.

3. Systematic
This implies that the procedure adopted to
undertake an investigation follow a certain
logical sequence.
The different steps cannot be taken in a
haphazard way.
Some procedures must follow others.

5. Valid and verifiable

This concept implies that whatever you
conclude on a basis if your findings is
correct and can be verified by you and

6. Empirical
This means that any conclusions drawn are
based upon hard evidence gathered from
information collected from real-life
experiences or observations.

Critical scrutiny of the procedures used and
the methods employed is crucial to a
research inquiry.
The process of investigation must be
foolproof and free from any drawbacks.
The process adopted and the procedures
used must be able to withstand critical

Research Process
The strength of what you find
largely rests on how it was found.

Research Process
Research process consists of series of actions or
steps necessary to effectively carry out research
and the desired sequencing of these steps.
Many a times the first step determines the nature
of the last step to be undertaken.
If subsequent procedures have not been taken into
account in the early stages, serious difficulties
may arise which may even prevent the completion
of the study.

Research Process
One should remember that the various steps
involved in a research process are not
mutually exclusive; nor they are separate
and distinct.
Research process consist of a number of
closely related activities, but at times, such
activities overlap continuously rather than
following a strictly prescribed sequence.

Research Process

Stage 3
Actually doing

Stage 2

Stage 1


Research journey



Processing data
Collecting data

Writing a research proposal

Selecting a sample

Constructing an instrument for data collection

Conceptualizing a research design

Formulating a research problem

Research journey

Stage 3



Processing data
Collecting data

Stage 2


Stage 1





Writing a research proposal

Selecting a sample

Constructing an instrument for data collection

Conceptualizing a research design

Formulating a research problem

Doing research is imperative
Doing good research is a choice
Doing beneficial research with sound
methods is a possibility
Generating evidence for improving
clinical and public health outcomes is
to be the goal.

All that lives,

lives neither by itself
nor for itself .