Research methodology


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Research methodology

  1. 1. Research Methodology Prof. Piyadasa RanasingheDepartment of Library and Information Science, University of Kelaniya’ 26/02/2011
  2. 2. What is research?• “A careful, systematic , patient study and investigation in some field of knowledge, undertaken to establish facts or princilpes” (Grinnell, 1993:4)• It is a discovery (Rediscovery); A voyage from the known to the unknown• An effort to be closer to the truth
  3. 3. Characteristics• It is controlled. In real life for an outcome there could be many affecting factors. In a study of cause and effect relationships one has to link effects with causes and causes with effects. Establishment of this linkage is impossible unless it is a laboratory test. Therefore instead of controlling external factors we have to quantify the impact of such factors.
  4. 4. Contd.,• It is rigorous. Procedures followed to find answers to a problem must be relevant, appropriate and justifiable. Researcher needs to be very careful about this.• It is systematic. Procedures adopted for a research should follow a logical sequence. Some procedures must follow others.• It should be valid and verifiable. Your research conclusion based on findings should be correct and can be verified by you as well as others.
  5. 5. Contd.,• It is empirical. The conclusions of the research should be based on evidence gathered from information collected from real life experiences/ observations• It is critical. Research procedures and methods applied should withstand critical scrutiny. They must be foolproof and free from drawbacks
  6. 6. Research process- Steps• 1. Formulation a of a research problem• 2. Creation of a research design• 3. Constructing instruments for data collection• 4. Selecting a sample• 5.Writing the research proposal• 6. Collecting data• 7. Processing data• 8. Writing the report
  7. 7. Formulating research problem• Tasks:• Literature review• Formulating the research problem• Identifying variables• Constructing hypotheses
  8. 8. Literature review• To make your research problem clear and bring focus into it• Develop your methodology• To know where you are• To have a broader knowledge in your area of research
  9. 9. Contd.,• Search and select literature pertaining to your area• Review selected literature• Develop a theoretical framework (theories and issues related your study)• Develop a conceptual framework (aspects you select from theoretical framework that form the basis of your research)
  10. 10. Contd.,• Sources:• Books• Journals• Electronic resources: online and offline
  11. 11. How to write the literature review• Write under themes• Some may follow chronological order• Highlight your arguments• Provide references
  12. 12. Formulating research problem• Any question that needs answer can be a research problem. However, not all questions can be transformed into research problems.• What matters here:• Your knowledge in research methodology• Your knowledge of the subject area• Your understanding of the issues to be examined
  13. 13. Contd.,• Formation of a research problem is the first step in the research. Identify the destination before you start the journey. It is the foundation of your building.• Sources of research problems:• People (individuals, groups, organizations, communities)• Problems (Issues, situations, associations,, needs, demographic)
  14. 14. Contd.,• Programmes (contents, structure, outcomes, attributes, satisfaction, users, consumers)• Phenomenon (cause and effect relationships, study of a phenomenon itself)• Research problem is your topic.• Consider the following when selecting a topic:• Your interest• Your level of expertise as well as of your supervisor
  15. 15. Contd.,• Use concepts that can be measured• Topic should be relevant to your profession/ subject area• Availability of data• Ethical issues
  16. 16. Formulation of objectives• Objectives are goals of your study• Main objectives• Secondary or sub-objectives• They must be clear, complete and specific
  17. 17. Identifying variables• A concept or perception that takes on different values and that can be measured is a variable. It is something that varies.• Types:• Independent variables (they are responsible for bringing about change in a phenomenon, situation)
  18. 18. Contd.,• Dependent variables (effects of a change variable, the outcome of the changes brought about by changes in an independent variable)• Extraneous variables (other factors that affect the changes bring about by independent variables)• Intervening variables (those that link the independent and dependent variables)
  19. 19. Constructing hypotheses• It is an ‘anticipation of nature’ or a hunch, assumption, assertion• “a tentative statement about something, the validity of which is usually unknown’ (Bailey, 1976:126)• It may be right, partially right or wrong• It should be simple, specific and conceptually clear
  20. 20. Research design• It is the plan, structure and strategy of investigating the research problem• It is an operational plan• Procedures to be adopted• Testing the design
  21. 21. Constructing an instrument for data collection• Data collection methods:• Primary sources• Observation• Interview• Questionnaire• Use of secondary sources• Establish the validity of the selected instrument
  22. 22. Selecting a sample• “Process of selecting a few from a bigger group”• Bigger group is the population and the selected few is the sample• Larger the sample size the more accurate will be the findings
  23. 23. Sampling types• Sampling strategies are numerous. They can be categorized into three groups:• Random/probability sampling• Non-random/probability sampling• Mixed sampling
  24. 24. Research proposal• It is your plan of research• It reveals what you are going to do, how you plan to do and why you have selected the proposed procedures• It guides you as well as your supervisor• It is an academic piece of writing• It shows the strength of your proposed research
  25. 25. Elements• Introduction (an overview of the main area under study, historical background, philosophical issues etc., trends, major theories, main issues under consideration etc.)• Importance (Why you do it? What are the benefits?)• Problem (Your research problem or the research questions)• Literature review
  26. 26. Contd.,• Objectives ( main and secondary)• Hypotheses• Study design (population, sample, data collection methods etc.)• Setting (brief description of the community, organization or agency in which you are going to carry out the research)• Analysis of data (methods you are going to use)
  27. 27. Contd.,• Structure of the report or chapterization• Limitations and problems you may encounter• Work plan or schedule• Budget (optional)
  28. 28. Collection data• Ethical issues relating to research participants ( their consent, incentives, sensitive information, harm to participants etc.)• Ethical issues relating to the researcher (avoiding bias, using appropriate research methodology, correct reporting etc.)
  29. 29. Processing data• Editing data• Coding data• Verifying coded data• Analyzing data• Displaying data (charts, diagrams, tables)
  30. 30. Writing the report or thesis• Follow standards (International standards or departmental guidelines)• Use appropriate referencing/citation system• Preparation of a bibliography• Avoid plagiarism
  31. 31. • Sources:• Kumar, Ranjit (1999). Research methodology : a step by step guide for beginners, 2nd. ed., Sage, London• Kothari, C.R. (1990). Research methodology : methods and techniques, 2nd. Ed., Wishwa Prakashan, New Delhi
  32. 32. • Thank you!