Researchcomprises of the word re + search means searching the information from theexisting facts which are already known and adding knowledge to thedictionary. The process ofsolving problems and searching facts ina systematic way is another way of defining research. Research can lead to newcontributions to the existing knowledge bychallenging the problem. According to Wikipedia research comprises “creative and systematic workundertaken to increase the stock of knowledge,including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stockof knowledge to devise new applications”. Research in not confined to one discipline.Research is carried in various fields like science, literature, sociology,medicine, pathology, history, engineering, economics, publicadministration, natural science and technology, the list is neverending. When a researcher is involved in conducting a research, the researchergoes through the various steps either formally or informally.
The followingsteps are involved in conducting a research Step 1: Defining Problem statement – A problemstatement is the description of issue which is current. Thestatement needs to be addressed so that it must reach to some conclusion. Itprovides the area for the research studyand frames the questions which the research aimsto solve. A research problem is a definite or clear idea aboutan area of concern, a trouble to be eradicated, a condition to be improved upon.A research problem does not give the solution to the problem instead it focuson the explanation of the problem.
A problem statement should comprise ofidentifying variables. Those variables should be put in the problem statementwhich leads to the progress of the research. Setp2: Hypothesis -A hypothesis isa proposed explanation fora phenomenon.Hypothesis is a scientific way to test the relationship between the variableswhich were expressed in the problem statement. Testing hypothesis is the coreof the scientific method. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis,the scientificmethod requires that one can test it. Scientists generallybase scientific hypotheses on previous observations thatcannot satisfactorily be explained with the available scientific theories. Ascientific hypothesis is not same as scientific theory.
The words”hypothesis” and “theory”are often used synonymously which is wrong. A workinghypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed forfurther research to carry out. Step 3: Review the Literature -A literature review is a writtentext in books, journals, conference paper, article or any recognized sourcematerial, which includes the existing or current knowledge includingsubstantive findings, as well as theoretical and methodological contributionsto a particular topic. Literaturereviews are secondary sources which are already published and knownto everyone. It is a survey ofthe literature in the chosen area of study. The researcher synthesizes theinformation from the various sources into the summary.
It critically analyses theinformation gathered by identifying gaps in current knowledge; by showinglimitations of theories and points of view; and by formulating areas forfurther research and reviewing areas of controversy. It presents theliterature in a systematic and organized way. Step 4: Research objective -The research which is to be carried out should have some socialutilization. The main reason for purpose statements, research hypotheses, and research questions is to identify the main direction or intent ofa study.
These elements are the foundation to a study. It gives the directionto the research. It also raises questions that the research will answer throughvarious means. Statement of intent in research that specifies goals that theinvestigator plans to achieve in the study.
The research objective is dividedinto major and minor objectives. These objectives appear frequently in surveyor questionnaire studies or in evaluation research in which investigators haveclearly identified objectives. Step 5: Determining specific research questions -To do research a need of research question or set of questions arises.
Aquestion can be found by thinking about you. What motivates you, the kind ofknowledge outcome you would like to get and the kind of research you would liketo do are some of the question which may hit your mind. It also includes whatothers propose like suggestions in the literature of where more research isneeded and calls for papers for conferences and journals on a particular areaof interest. Step 6: Develop the Instrumentation Plan and design experiment -A strategy for overall approach to answer the research question isdeveloped by instrumentation plan, design, creation and experiment. Inimplementing design and creation focuses on developing new IT product or artifacts.
The IT product is usually a computer based system, but it can also be someelement of the development process such as new construct, model or method.Design experiment focuses on investigating cause and its effect onrelationships, testing, hypothesis and seeking to prove or disprove a causallink between a factor and an observed outcome. There is ‘before’ and ‘after’measurement, and all factors that might affect the results are carefullyexcluded from the study, other than the one factor that is thought will causethe ‘after’ result. Step 7: Collect Data – In Digital India data iscollected by online survey. An online form is prepared by the researcher and isprovided to the concern person or may be uploaded on the web site. There arevarious web sites which provides a researcher to create online forms likegoogle.
Once the form is uploaded it is sent via email or link is provided.This is more flexible and friendly way to collect the data. The other sourcesof collecting data are: interview, observations, questionnaires and documents.
Interview a particular kind of conservation between people where, at least atthe beginning of the interview if not all the way through, the researchercontrols both the agenda and the proceedings and will ask most of thequestions. One to one and group interviews are also possible. Observations ispaying attention and watching to what people actually do, rather than what theyreport they do. It involves looking and getting data by hearing, smelling,tasting or touching. Questionnaires are a predefined set of questions assembledin a predefined order.
Respondents are asked to answer the questions, often viamultiple choice options, thus providing the researcher with data that can beanalyzed and interpreted. Last but not the least is documents which alreadyexist prior to the research. The documents that are solely made for thepurposes of the research task like multimedia documents, photographs, diagrams,animations or videos, music, sound, websites, computer games, online data etc.
Step 8: Analyze the Data -Data can be analyzed in two waysquantitative and qualitative. The main purpose of quantitative research andanalysis is to quantify the data and assess it from the angle of numbers andother commonly adopted metrics. The data produced are alwaysnumerical, and they are analyzed using mathematical and statistical methods.
Ifthere are no numbers involved, then it’s not quantitative research. Inquantitative research, the sole approach to data is statistical and takesplaces in the form of tabulations. Findings are usually descriptive in naturealthough conclusive only within the numerical framework.
A qualitative dataanalysis often involves words or language, but may also use pictures orphotographs and observations. A more close up picture of the issue is searched inorder to understand something deeper and dig the problem until the cause isfound. At the same time, the qualitative research may be a preceding one to thequantitative for generating ideas. It involves a continual interplay betweentheory and analysis. In analyzing qualitative data, a researcher seeks todiscover patterns such as changes over time or possible causal links betweenvariables. In 21 century to carry out data analysis various tools are available.These tools vary depending upon the area of research.
Some business tools are OpenRefine, KNIME, RapidMiner, Google Fusion Tables, Google SearchOperators. Some free exploratory tools are Trifact, Rattle GUI,Qlikview, Weka and many more. Step 9: Draw conclusion –Finallythe last step of the research is to summarize the main points which were madein the introduction and review of the literature.
Review briefly the researchmethods and/or design which were employed. Repeat the abbreviation from thefindings. Discuss the broader implications of the findings. Mention thelimitations of the research due to its scope or its weaknesses.
Offersuggestions for future research related to the area of interest.