Research is composed of two syllables “re” and “search”. “ Re ” is a prefix meaning again or over again. “ Search ” is a verb meaning to examine, to test and try or to probe closely and carefully. Together they form a noun describing a careful, systematic, patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or principles (Grinnell 1993).
2. Routine work In general, problems and obstacles are always a part of all types of work. Some research problems originate from problems on routine work. Formulating a research problem is the first and most important step in the research process 1. Researcher’s own interest
Sources for identifying problems (cont.) 4. Attending training courses, seminars, lectures and various types of gatherings Recommendations from research reports are another major sources of problem identification. 3. Reading literatures: papers, technical reports, thesis or dissertation Researcher can find gaps, weak points or incomplete results that need further investigation.
Sources for identifying problems (cont.) 5. Discussion with other researchers Discussion with other people or researchers bring about questions, puzzle and a heightened level of curiosity that can lead to a new project.
Selecting a research problem * * * Finding a suitable research topic can be difficult ! * * * Not every questions or problems that interest you can be a research problem. Research problems are selected based on 6 criteria as discussed by Sethaput (1993).
It is a first priority in setting the problems. Why ???
However, the background of researcher and advisor are also importance.
Selecting problems (cont.) 2. Urgency This criteria is related to the type and size of the population in which the problem is found, its scope and effects, the number of people impacted and the immediate need for solutions. 3. Usefulness There are two main areas of usefulness. 1. To expand knowledge and information. 2. To find solutions to problems or obstacles.
Selecting problems (cont.) 4. Ability The researcher’s own ability, educational and philosophical background, technical capabilities, research method knowledge as well as the ability to review the literature on a problem and synthesize out the importance points. 5. Uniqueness of your research The research should be unique to avoid answering the same questions and thus wasting research resources and ruining the researcher’s reputation. 6. Practical limitations/feasibility Time, cost, access to resources, approval of authorities, ethical concerns and expertise
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