What is Research ?

Research = Re + Search

Re means again and search means to investigate carefully. Thus, research means to investigate carefully again.

According to Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of current English, Research is “a careful investigation or inquiry specially through search for new facts in any branch of knowledge.”

In short, the search for knowledge through objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem is research.

Importance of Research

  1. Advances in medical research increased the life expectancy.
  2. Research in semiconductor theory lead to the development of transistors, ICs, different types of memory.
  3. Institute of Microbio Technology devised a tablet for heart diseases.
  4. CSIR performed research in human genome decoding.
  5. Genetic sequencing will help in diagnosis and management of diseases including cancer.

and many more…

Research adds new knowledge to the existing store. It has been rightly said that, “All progress is born of inquiry. Doubt is often better than overconfidence, for it leads to inquiry and inquiry leads to invention.” Increased amount of research in different fields have made progress possible.


Types of Research

  1. Descriptive Research: Includes surveys and fact finding enquiries of different kinds. The major purpose of descriptive research is description of the state of affairs as it exists at present.
  2. Analytical Research: In this, the researcher has to use facts or information already available and analyze these to make a critical evaluation of the material.
  3. Basic Research: It is driven by a scientist’s curiosity or interest in a scientific question. The main motivation is to expand man’s knowledge. Basic research is theory oriented and predictions are based on  theoritical conceptualizations. It lays down the foundation for the applied research. Theoritical research leads to a greater understanding of the exact science behind experimental results. Gathering knowledge for knowledge’s sake is basic research.
  4. Applied Research: It employs established theories, knowledge, methods and techniques for a specific purpose. It generally deals with practical problems of the real world. Transparency is required in this research.
  5. Qualitative Research: It is a method of inquiry traditionally in the social sciences and in market research. The aim is to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior and investigate the why and how of human behavior and investigate the why and how of decision making and hence smaller but focused samples are more often needed.
  6. Quantitative Research: Based on the measurement of quantity or amount. Taking some hypothesis based on that where lot of data is collected. For example, library science –> templates.
  7. Conceptual Research: It is related to some abstract idea or theory. It is generally used by philosophers and thinkers to develop new concepts or to reinterpret existing ones.
  8. Empirical Research: It tests the feasibility of a solution using empirical evidence. The objective of it is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories ad hypothesis pertaining to phenomena. It is data-based research coming up with conclusions.
  9. Exploratory Research: The objective of exploratory research is the development of hypothesis rather than their testing, whereas formalized research studies are those with substantial structure and with specific hypothesis to be tested.
  10. Historical Research: Historical research is that which utilizes historical sources like documents, remains, etc. to study events or ideas of the past, including the philosophy of persons and groups at any remote point of time.

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