What is research? In academic circles the term “research” is used in two different ways. One is used to refer to the process by which scientists accumulate and analyze information and compare that information with what they already know to identify patterns and trends. The other use of the term is to describe the formal methods used in research. The research performed by scientists to generate new knowledge forms the base of new knowledge.
What is research? According to Henryiping and Teo-Ching-Leng, what is research can be described as “the process of assembling and comparing data to identify patterns, discover patterns and make predictions about those patterns”. In contrast to deductive methods, what is research is “a system for acquiring, comparing, organizing, and analyzing data”. Contrasting deductive and quantitative research methods what is research is “an empirical study that is largely descriptive in nature, using quantitative techniques such as probability, sampling, statistics, and experiments to describe features of a real or hypothetical thing or occurrence”.
A critical component of what is research is asking the right questions. Research questions must begin with an explanation of the problem, followed by a description of the methodology and data needed to solve it. Often what is research will find answers to some or all of these questions but in their formative stages, they may be unimportant. As participants read what is research and begin to participate in the process, the important questions will be asked, which will stimulate responses from participants who are deeply involved in what is research.
A common question in what is research is what is it good for. The answer to this question can be a logical argument for a particular hypothesis. Logical arguments are based on a particular set of facts and are often supported by other evidence. An example of a logical argument is: “X studies Y, therefore X causes Y.” The underlying idea in this example is that a cause has been identified and can be tested.
What is research can lead to what is called modeling. Modeling is a process of developing a concept by fitting it to a set of past events. A model may be a spreadsheet, graph, or computer program. For example, if a researcher finds that sales have been flat for three years, they may want to model the idea that no change happened over the three years and sales will likely continue to be flat through the same time frame. After developing a model a researcher may want to test their concept by using statistical methods.
Another component of what is research is testing and checking hypotheses. A hypothesis is a claim made about a specific pattern or event. It is then used as a basis for making a conclusion about what is research. For example, if a researcher finds that sales have increased over time and they believe this is due to a marketing strategy, they could perform an empirical research study to see if their hypothesis was correct.
What is research can also be described in terms of formal methods. Formal methods refer to those methods that are used in carrying out empirical research. Examples of these methods include the techniques of probability, statistics, chi-square, and so on.
What is research can be broken down into different types. Some research is descriptive, while some is quantitative. Some research is qualitative and some is quantitative. Some research is mixed and some is a blend of both. However, the overall goal of what is research is to find out what is out there and how it may affect us.