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org/wiki/Research

Research
Research comprises "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] It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results
of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or
develop new theories. 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.

Contents
1 Etymology
2 Definitions Basrelief sculpture "Research
holding the torch of knowledge"
3 Forms of research
(1896) by Olin Levi Warner. Library
4 Scientific research of Congress, Thomas Jefferson
5 Historical research Building, Washington, D.C.
6 Artistic research
7 Steps in conducting research
8 Research methods
9 Research ethics
10 Problems in research
10.1 Methods of research
10.2 Linguicism
10.3 Publication Peer Review
10.4 Influence of the open-access movement
10.5 Future perspectives

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11 Professionalisation
11.1 In Russia

12 Publishing
13 Research funding
14 See also
15 References
16 Further reading
17 External links

Etymology
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'.[3] The earliest
recorded use of the term was in 1577.[3]

Definitions
Research has been defined in a number of different ways.

A broad definition of research is given by Godwin Colibao: "In the broadest sense of the
word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information, and facts
Aristotle, (384322 BC),
for the advancement of knowledge."[4]
one of the early figures
Another definition of research is given by John W. Creswell, who states that "[r]esearch in the development of
the scientific method.[2]
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.[5]

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines research in more detail as "a 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".[3]

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).
[6][7]

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

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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.[8]

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.[9] Graduate students are commonly required to perform original research
as part of a dissertation.[10]

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).[11]

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.[12]

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
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 Primary scientific research being
interest in the chosen subject area is advisable. The research will have carried out at the Microscopy
to be justified by linking its importance to already existing knowledge Laboratory of the Idaho National
about the topic. Laboratory.
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.

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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 Scientific research equipment at
experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used MIT.
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
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:[13]

Identification of origin date


Evidence of localization
Recognition of authorship
Analysis of data
Identification of integrity
Attribution of credibility

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.[14] 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

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the social sciences in using qualitative research and intersubjectivity as tools to


apply measurement and critical analysis.[15]

Artistic research has been defined by the University of Dance and Circus (Dans och
Cirkushgskolan, 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."[16] Artistic research aims to enhance knowledge and understanding with
presentation of the arts.[17] For a survey of the central problematics of today's
Artistic Research, see Giaco Schiesser.[18]

According to artist Hakan Topal, in artistic research, "perhaps more so than other
German historian Leopold
disciplines, intuition is utilized as a method to identify a wide range of new and
von Ranke (17951886),
unexpected productive modalities".[19] Most writers, whether of fiction or
considered to be one of the
non-fiction books, also have to do research to support their creative work. This may founders of modern
be factual, historical, or background research. Background research could include, source-based history.
for example, geographical or procedural research.[20]

The Society for Artistic Research (SAR) publishes the triannual Journal for Artistic Research (JAR),[21][22] 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),[23][24][25] 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.[26]

In 2016 ELIA (European League of the Institutes of the Arts) launched The Florence Principles' on the Doctorate in the
Arts.[27] 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.

Steps in conducting research


Research is often conducted using the hourglass model structure of research.[28] 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:[29]

Identification of research problem


Literature review
Specifying the purpose of research
Determining specific research questions
Specification of a conceptual framework, usually a set of hypotheses[30]
Choice of a methodology (for data collection)
Data collection

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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.[31] Most research begins with a general statement of the problem, or rather, the purpose
for engaging in the study.[32] 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."[33]

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?!"[34]

Research methods
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):

Exploratory research, which helps to identify and define a problem or


question. The research room at the New York
Public Library, an example of
Constructive research, which tests theories and proposes solutions to
a problem or question. secondary research in progress.
Empirical research, which tests the feasibility of a solution using
empirical evidence.
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

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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. Qualitative
research is often used as a method of exploratory research as a basis
for later quantitative research hypotheses. Qualitative research is
linked with the philosophical and theoretical stance of social
constructionism.

Social media posts are used for qualitative research.[36]

Maurice Hilleman
Quantitative research
is credited with
This involves systematic empirical investigation of quantitative
saving more lives
properties and phenomena and their relationships, by asking a narrow than any other
question and collecting numerical data to analyze it utilizing statistical scientist of the 20th
methods. The quantitative research designs are experimental, century.[35]
correlational, and survey (or descriptive). [37] 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. These methods produce results that are easy to
summarize, compare, and generalize. 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). 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.[38]

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.[39]

Mixed-method research, i.e. research that includes qualitative and quantitative elements, using both primary and
secondary data, is becoming more common.[40] 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.[41]

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.[42]

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

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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 involves the application of fundamental ethical principles to a variety of topics involving research,
including scientific research. These include the design and implementation of research involving human
experimentation, animal experimentation, various aspects of academic scandal, including scientific misconduct (such
as fraud, fabrication of data and plagiarism), whistleblowing; regulation of research, etc. Research ethics is most
developed as a concept in medical research. The key agreement here is the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki. The
Nuremberg Code is a former agreement, but with many still important notes. Research in the social sciences presents a
different set of issues than those in medical research[43] and can involve issues of researcher and participant safety,
empowerment and access to justice.[12]

When research involves human subjects, obtaining informed consent from them is essential.[41]

Problems in research

Methods of research
In many disciplines, Western methods of conducting research are predominant.[44] 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.
Non-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 Mori populations, and
is based on dimensions of mental health important to the Mori people "taha wairua (the spiritual dimension), taha
hinengaro (the mental dimension), taha tinana (the physical dimension), and taha whanau (the family dimension)".[45]

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.[46] Multilingual scholars' influences from their native
communicative styles can be assumed to be incompetence instead of difference.[47]

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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.[48] 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.[47]
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".[49] 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.[49]

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 utilised by cultural groups (i.e. indigenous
communities) this is denounced as "access control" and reprehended as censorship.[49]

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".[50] 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.[50] 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 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

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In present-day Russia, the former Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet states the term researcher (Russian:
, 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 term is also sometimes translated as research fellow, research associate, etc.

The following ranks are known:

Junior Researcher (Junior Research Associate)


Researcher (Research Associate)
Senior Researcher (Senior Research Associate)
Leading Researcher (Leading Research Associate)[51]
Chief Researcher (Chief Research Associate)

Publishing
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.[52] It has also
been suggested that all published studies should be subjected to some Cover of the first issue of Nature, 4
measure for assessing the validity or reliability of its procedures to prevent November 1869.
the publication of unproven findings.[53] 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.[54] 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[55] and the Medical Research Council in the UK. These are
managed primarily through universities and in some cases through military contractors. Many senior researchers

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(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
European Charter for Researchers
List of words ending in ology
Undergraduate research
Internet research
List of countries by research and development spending
Advertising research
Market research
Marketing research
Open research
Operations research
Participatory action research
Primary research
Psychological research methods
Research-intensive cluster
Scholarly research
Secondary research
Society for Artistic Research
Social research
Timeline of the history of scientific method

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Further reading
Cohen, N.; Arieli, T. (2011). "Field research in conflict environments: Methodological challenges and snowball
sampling". Journal of Peace Research. 48 (4): 423436. doi:10.1177/0022343311405698 (https://doi.org
/10.1177%2F0022343311405698).
Soeters, Joseph; Shields, Patricia and Rietjens, Sebastiaan. 2014. Handbook of Research Methods in Military
Studies (https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=ENDpAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT23&ots=TRFdlv1qZH&
sig=dp4OqiNnE9QZSlWdW40Pbp6cHm4#v=onepage&q&f=falseRoutledge) New York: Routledge.

External links
The dictionary definition of research at Wiktionary
Quotations related to Research at Wikiquote

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