WHAT IS RESEARCH
Research is an integral part of the current trends in the changing world especially for discovering new facts or as a basis for confirming previously discovered facts. It is used as a basis of knowledge. Research is directed to solve a problem, generate principles or theories, demands accurate observation and description, applies rigorous analysis, strives to be objective and logical. Questions are central to a research, without it the research has no focus, drive or purpose.
There are however many definitions to research, the following include some amongst may definitions;
· The word Research can be divided into 2: Re to mean a fresh or once more and Search to mean to go through thoroughly, to find out or to examine.
· Research is an organized and systematic way of finding answers to questions in mind. Systematic because there is a definite set of procedures and steps to be followed. Organized in that there is a structure or method on how to do the research, it is usually a planned procedure and limited to a scope.
· According to Neuman (1) Research can be defined as a collection of methods and methodologies that research apply systematically to produce scientifically based knowledge. Methodology can be defined as understanding the social-organizational context, philosophical assumptions and ethical principles that a scientist uses to engage in the research. Methods are a set of specific techniques for selecting cases, measuring and observing aspects of social life, gathering and refining data, analyzing data and reporting on results.
· According to Fonollera (2) Research is a systematic, controlled and critical investigation of natural phenomena guided by theory and hypotheses about the presumed relations among phenomena
· Research(3) can also be defined as a systematic and objective investigation of a subject or a problem in order to discover relevant information. Investigation on a subject refers to establishing a conceptual or theoretical understanding about something. Investigation on a problem refers to assessing, diagnosing, exploring or evaluating various facts. Relevant information refers to establishing theoretical grounds for a disciplinary study of deducting problem solutions under a defined situation.
· According to the American sociologist Earl Robert Babbie (4), “Research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon. Research involves inductive and deductive methods.” Inductive research methods are used to analyze an observed event. Deductive methods are used to verify the observed event. Inductive approaches are associated with qualitative research and deductive methods are more commonly associated with quantitative research.
Characteristics of research
- A systematic approach must be followed for accurate data. Rules and procedures are an integral part of the process that set the objective. Researchers need to practice ethics and a code of conduct while making observations or drawing conclusions.
- Research is based on logical reasoning and involves both inductive and deductive methods.
- The data or knowledge that is derived is in real time from actual observations in natural settings.
- There is an in-depth analysis of all data collected so that there are no anomalies associated with it.
- Research creates a path for generating new questions. Existing data helps create more opportunities for research.
- Research is analytical in nature. It makes use of all the available data so that there is no ambiguity in inference.
- Accuracy is one of the most important aspects of research. The information that is obtained should be accurate and true to its nature. For example, laboratories provide a controlled environment to collect data. Accuracy is measured in the instruments used, the calibrations of instruments or tools, and the final result of the experiment.
Importance of Research
- Research corrects perceptions as well as expands them.
- Research gathers information on subjects or phenomena we lack or have little knowledge about.
- Research develops and evaluates concepts, practices and theories.
- Research obtains knowledge for practical purposes like solving problems i.e. drug related adverse reactions.
- Research provides hard facts which serve as bases for planning, decision-making and evaluation.
Qualities of a good researcher
· R esearch oriented
· E fficient
· S cientific
· E ffective
· A ctive
· R esourceful
· C reative
· H onest
· E conomical
· R ational
Research is a human device invented and developed not only to push far the limit the human knowledge but to improve the quality of individual and group life. This puts on emphasis on the importance of research, the continued existence and relevance of which will last as long as there is a human being who wishes to expand his knowledge and understanding about the world and everything therein.
Betty Neuman, (1996). "The Neuman’s systems model in Research and Practice .Sage Journals
Hoffman, A. (2003). Research for Writers, pp. 4–5. London: A&C Black Publishers Limited.https://mthoyibi.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/qualitative-research-practice_a-guide-for-social-science-students-and-researchers_jane-ritchie-and-jane-lewis-eds_20031.pdf
Early Roberts (2019), What is Research. Questionpro.https://www.questionpro.com/blog/what-is-research/