Research: Meaning, Concept, Need

1) What constitutes research?
Research is a conscious and planned, critical and exhaustive intellectual activity, devoted to investigation of a phenomenon with the objective of expanding the frontiers of existing stock of knowledge. Such a process of investigation becomes scientific when a designated set of methods or techniques are applied to secure, measure, analyse and interpret data in a cycle of research ranging from the choice of a problem to the writing of the final report.

2) What is the need and purpose of research?
The need for research is to build up an infrastructure for creating new knowledge to develop a knowledge reservoir. The application of this knowledge for socioeconomic and cultural development of a country to provide material well being of societies, is the purpose.

3) Distinguish between basic and applied research.
Basic research studies a phenomena, essentially to obtain knowledge of it whose applications may or may not have any bearing on any application in the immediate future or even after a long time. Generally this type of research demands a very high order of intellectual caliber; intuition also plays an important role in this type of research. Those who are involved in basic research devote their efforts to the formulation or reformulation of theories and may not be concerned at all with
their application. Applied research on the other hand, is to acquire knowledge on the practical
application of the theoretical base already built up which is expected to solve a critical problem

4) What are the concepts that could be formed into a framework?
The concepts that could form a framework are: Theory, Hypothesis, Variables, Data/facts, Organisation of data/facts, Analysis, Interpretation, Conclusions, Generalisations, Tests for Validity of findings, Application to solve a problem, finally adding to the pool of knowledge.

5) What are the characteristics of modern research?
 The general characteristics of modern research are:
• Research is the only way by which new knowledge can be created.
• It is highly intellectual, time consuming, long drawn, slow, sometimes frustrating and rarely spectacular.
• It is multi disciplinary and multidimensional.
• Most research is team effort, mostly undertaken corporate bodies.
• Modern Research is highly professional.
• Research funding is a very characteristic of modern research.
• Dissemination of results of research is systematically organised in modern research for peer review.
• Information Support services are also highly organised.

6) Mention some of the criteria for selection of topics for research.
Some of the sources for selecting a research are:
• The field that lends itself for study and research to identify areas of research is one of the best sources for taking suitable topics for investigation.
• The application of Information Technology to library and information science is a fertile area for research.
• Literature surveys in library and information studies are also a good source.
• Since Library and Information studies are increasingly multidisciplinary, attending such multidisciplinary conferences could throw light on the selection of a research topic.
• Senior professionals experts and academic leaders could suggest topics for research.
• Lists of topics of research university departments in Library and Information Science, Industries and Governments are also useful sources.

7) State the logical processes of scientific method as applied to research
Some of the logical processes of scientific method are:
• Identification of the research topic which would a proper formalstatement;
• Review of relevant literature to assess what has been already done in the topic taken for research;
• Collection of already established facts and figures on the topic of research;
• Formulation of a carefully drafted hypothesis;
• Testing the hypothesis, on the basis of a thoughtful research design;
• Assembling and organising the data collected systematically for analysis;
• Arriving at inferences and conclusions;
• Generalisation, if the results amenable for it;
• Preparation and presentation of the Research results; and
• Dissemination for peer review.

8) What are the types of laws, activity and cardinal stages in Ranganathan’s Spiral of
Scientific Method?
The types of laws, activity and cardinal stages in Ranganathan’s Spiral of Scientific
Method are:
A) Types of Laws:
i) Fundamental laws
ii) Deduced laws
iii) Nadir facts, and
iv) Empirical laws.
B) Types of Activity
 i) Senses, experimentation, observation, concretisation, and particularisation;
ii) Intellect, induction, abstraction and generalisation;
iii) Generalisation, abstraction, sublimation, and intuition; and
v) Particularisation, concretisation, deduction and intellect.
C) Cardinal Stages in the Cycle:
i) Nadir
ii) Ascendent
iii) Zenith
iv) Descendent

9) How does the cycle of spiral of scientific method function?
Two things happen in re-entering the spiral:
• Observation and experiments are made to verify the validity of new deduced laws;
• Further continuous observation and experiment lead to accumulation of new empirical facts. So long as the deduced laws are verified empirically to be true and the new empirical facts are found to be in conformity with the implication of the fundamental laws, there is no further movement in the
spiral. As and when new empirical facts appear to contradict the new fundamental laws, scientific method is applied and new cycle get into full swing and carries the Spiral of Scientific Method further. The cycle is liable to be repeated without end. This method is easily applied to natural sciences.

10) What is Research design? State its function and purpose.
A “Research Design is “the plan, structure, and strategy of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions and to control variance.” “The function of a research design is to ensure that the evidence obtained enables to answer the initial question as unambiguously as possible.” The purpose of research design is two fold: 1) to provide answers on research as objectively, validly, accurately and economically as possible; and 2) to bring empirical evidence (i.e. derived from or guided by experience or experiment) to bear on the research problem by controlling variance.

11. What are the values of studying research methodology?
The values of studying methodology are: To gain knowledge of the methods of research for pursuing research studies in library and information science. A good exposure to research methodology will enable professionals offer very effective to the research community in their needs for information in their research work. It can facilitate organizing thoughtful information services in general.

Ascendant : A position of dominance, controlling influence, superiority or preeminence.
Concept : A general notion or idea of something formed by mentally combining all its characteristics or particulars.
Descendant : Something that is going down.
Hypothesis : A proposition or set of propositions set forth as an explanation for the occurrence of some specified group of phenomena.
Nadir : The lowest point in an activity.
Research : Systematic inquiry into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, etc.
Research : It is an arrangement of conditions for collection and analysis of Design data in a manner that aims to combine relevance to the research purpose with economy in procedure.
Scientific : A method of research in which a problem is identified, relevant Method data gathered, hypothesis(es) formulated and the hypothesis(es) empirically tested.
Spiral : Winding and advancing like a coil continuously
Theory : A coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena.
Variable : The quality or quantity of a thing (abstract or concrete) that takes different values.
Zenith : The highest point of an activity.

Source: IGNOU Study Material

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