A research is a logical process which aims to search new, effective and advantageous informations regarding a specific subject.
The purpose of a research is to find, analyze and apply solutions to tackle different problems and challenges that the scientists struggle with. During this process, the scheme will be to observe the causes, determine solutions, explain and apply the suggested solutions.
Research can be divided into two main types, those types are performed following a particular ruling including concepts and procedures that need to be accepted and recognized by the scientists working in the same field. Those concepts and procedures are called a paradigm.
1. Fundamental/Basic Research:
- Aim for the understanding of basic reasons related to specific subjects while using a technical language designed for those subjects.
- Provide a deep insight into a specific subject and why does it occur.
- Provide the needed help to discern the facts and extract the science-related explanation and logical conclusion behind it.
- Widen and stretch our knowledge regarding a topic.
- Do not lead to solving practical problems or to instant use and utilization.
- The conclusions of fundamental/basic research usually scheme the basis for an applied research.
2. Applied research
- Aim to solve specific problems by using known and widely acknowledged theories and principles.
- Aim to study specific problems or individuals without generalization.
- Tries to identify the inconstant variable that will lead to a different, interesting and useful outcome.
- Aims to determine the needed strategy to engage in a different outcome.
- Aim to the correction of dubious facts.
- Lead to a practical and frequent application of the outcomes.
- Use a common language.
*Fundamental/basic research and applied research can both be considered quantitative or qualitative research.
1. Quantitative research
- Allows us to make numerical, quantifiable and non-descriptive observations.
- Based on statistics, mathematics and use number in an iterative way, allowing us to precisely measure facts and make conclusive decisions.
- Can be used to compare between two situations.
- Helpful when trying to figure out the “what”, “where” and “when” of decision making.
- It results are often summarized through graphics and charts
2. Qualitative research
- Do not include numerical facts ( numbers, statistic etc)
- The main purpose is description, the tool used is language.
- Its objective are to better understand, fathom and describe a specific subject or phenomenon.
- It aims to collect non numerical datas, which can not be expressed through graphics.
- It aims to explore and determine the “why” and “how” of decision making.
Other types of research exist:
1. Mixed research
- Involve quantitative and qualitative procedures or paradigm.
- Datas are usually a mix of variables, illustrations and language.
2. Conceptual research
- Doesn't use any practical experimentation.
- This methodology is based on the study of already existing informations and the knowledge obtained from other ongoing researches and concluded one.
3. Empirical research
- The study is focused on empirical evidences, which means the use of valid and confirmable informations and datas (graphics, numbers, statistics..)
- The informations and datas can be either quantitative or qualitative.
- It does not include any theory.
- The aim of the study is to take into consideration directs and indirects observations and experiences.
- Its goal is to design research to answer empirical questions using the collected informations and datas.
4. Analytical research
- Involves critical thinking skills and fact-checking to find new ideas and to make more correct assumptions.
- Based on the compiling and evaluating of research articles, datas and other important facts then the use them to prove a hypothesis or support an idea.
- It can be used either to form new ideas or to support a current research
5. Descriptive research
- It purpose is to provide answers for “what is this” questioning.
- It use language as the main tool for expressing datas.
6. Explanatory research
- Its first aim is to apprehend or to analyze relationships, answering the question “how every part of a situation are linked and related to one another ?”
- It uses correlations to study relationships between dimensions or attribute of beings, groups, events or phenomenons.
7. Exploratory Research
- Require literature checking or some focus group interviews.
- Researchers can use it when studying a new phenomena, allowing them to better understand it and mainly to investigate the possibility of a large-scale study, but also to find the most appropriate methods to conduct it.
- Is used in the first steps of a scientific researcher program and doesn't revolve around finding answers but more on identifying key issues and key variables.
8. Longitudinal Research
- It use data collection as many times as needed through a specific period of time.
- Usually consist of cohorts or panel respondents.
- Longitudinal studies may be:
- Trend study: Focus mainly on the same population, with analyzing their attitudes over a specific period of time. Exemple: consumption of antibiotics rates during the course of a year.
- Cohort study: Traces a specific population over time. Exemple: consumption of antibiotics rates for the senior population.
- Panel study: Utilize the same sample taken from the same population in a given period of time. Exemple: medicines exportations tracks over the period 2000 – 2010 for the same starting group.
9. Cross-sectional Research
- Also called One-shot research, those are studies where datas are gathered once, amid a specific period of time (days, weeks, months, years..)
- Often, cross-sectional research are designed as exploratory or descriptive.
- They are schemed to analyze how the facts are now, while not taking into consideration if there is or was a history or trend at work.
10. Classification research
- The main aim of this type of research is to regroup different entities based on theirs differences and similarities.
11. Comparative research
- It is mainly used to stress out the differences and similarities between two units, phenomenon or cases.
12. Policy-Oriented Research
- This type of research aims to find effective solutions to stop or prevent any given problem.
13. Theory based research
- Theory testing aims to test the validity of a theory, a unit or a processus.
- Theory building aims to explore and formulate theories.
14. Action research
- It’s a methodology that combine taking actions and then analyze the effects of those actions.