What is research?

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What is Research?

Research involves making a discovery about something previously unknown, and entails ‘advancing human knowledge'. Undertaking research helps us to understand, explain or things that are of interest to us.

The types of research you are likely to come across can be viewed in three :

1. Scientific Research
This is research that is according to strict rules of logic and observation. A scientific is one where research is conducted in a systematic fashion. Normally this is associated with conducting experiments where, if follow the same methods and techniques, they will gain the same results in their experiments. This , often termed replication, is particularly important in scientific research. Although the conditions of experiments may not always be replicated, scientists strive to it to give weight to their conclusions.

2. Social Science Research
Social science relates to the scientific study of society and social . Social science is therefore much more about people and how they live. As people are often subjective and irrational, it is more difficult to carry out experiments in social science that are capable of being replicated.

3. Applied Research
Applied research uses the same methods and as science or social science but the research is undertaken for a purpose that goes beyond solely advancing the body of human knowledge in the area. Therefore, applied research is to be put to a particular use.

Another way of classifying research is as follows;

1. Pure research
This is mainly for academic interest alone. This is because, typically, the researcher chooses the topic of research with the aim of publication in academic journals and books. , pure research is sometimes undertaken for higher degrees, such as Doctorates. Whatever the , the aim of pure research is the advancement of knowledge in the rather than an attempt to find an industry application.

2. Action Research
This is about combining academic understanding with industry application. Often the researcher undertakes work with a client or sponsoring and both have agreed goals as to the from the research. Both parties have control of the research and agree necessary actions. The results may still be published by the researcher, perhaps with the support of the sponsoring establishment.

3. Consultancy
This is research undertaken for industrial or commercial purpose. The company or establishment sponsoring the research defines the problem and the researcher enters a as a consultant. The results are normally not published as they are very often commercially sensitive.

Beneath these types, all research can be further subdivided into:

1 Descriptive research - Finding things out to describe/list/report
2 Explanatory research - Explaining things
3 research - Combining the above to suggest a course of action/make judgements etc.

Within the literature or company reports and the like it is very rare that the terms Descriptive, Explanatory or Evaluative will be used to title a piece of research or a report. Nevertheless, all research comes into one or more of these .