What is research methodology

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Research methodologyDr. Amjad Idries

What is research and why research? Research Concepts

In the broadest sense of the wordResearch includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.

Difference between: They say, It might be,I imaging,I think,I believe,I am sure.

Research defined and described as .systematic approach to obtaining and confirming new and reliable knowledgeSystematic and orderly (following a series of steps)Purpose is new knowledge, which must be reliable

This is a general definition which applies to all disciplines



10Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue". It consists of three steps: Pose a question, collect data to answer the question, and present an answer to the question.


Research is notAccidental discovery :Accidental discovery may occur in structured research processUsually takes the form of a phenomenon not previously noticedMay lead to a structured research process to verify or understand the observation11


Research is not cont.Data Collectionan intermediate step to gain reliable knowledgecollecting reliable data is part of the research process12


Research is not cont.Searching out published research results in libraries (or the internet)This is an important early step of researchThe research process always includes synthesis and analysisBut, just reviewing of literature is not research (except if it is systematic and structured).13


Research isSearching for explanation of events, phenomena, relationships and causesWhat, how and why things occurAre there interactions?A process Planned and managed to make the information generated credible The process is creativeIt is circular always leads to more questions14


All well designed and conducted research has potential application.

Failure to see applications can be due to:Users not trained or experienced in the specialized methods of research and reasoningResearchers often do not provide adequate interpretations and guidance on applications of the research

Researchers are responsible to help users understand research implications (How?)15


Researchers from different disciplines have their own ways of viewing their world.

This world view influences the different approaches that a researcher may take to further understanding.

These differing perspectives will, in turn, influence the questions that researchers would pose and the methods that they would use in their research.

These perspectives would lead them to develop distinct research agendas to further their knowledge and understanding.

Researchers from the different disciplines would then have their own methodological approaches, or research tools, that they would employ to answer these questions.

Different ways of viewing phenomena are often complementary. Thus, in addressing many issues in pharmacy practice and health service research, a range of researchers from different disciplines and backgrounds may be involved.

For your own research, you may like to broaden this to reflect on the following:Your world view and underlying perspectives and assumptions regarding the nature of your research topic and the type of knowledge that will further your understanding.How these may lead to the formulation of your research question (identification of research priorities).

What has informed your choice of methods for your study (methodology).

The Process of ResearchThe process is initiated with a question or problem (step 1)

Next, goals and objectives are formulated to deal with the question or problem (step 2)

Then the research design is developed to achieve the objectives (step 3)

Results are generated by conducting the research (step 4)

Interpretation and analysis of results follow (step 5)




12345The Process of Research


Literature review literature review is conducted in a given subject area before a research question is identified. A gap in the current literature, as identified by a researcher, then engenders a research question.

Creativity in the Research ProcessResearch is a creative processresearch includes far more than mere logic It includes insight, genius, groping, pondering sense The logic we can teach; the art we cannot

Research requires (or at least works best) with imagination, initiative, intuition, and curiosity.

There are different types of creativity, characteristic of different situations applied and theoretical most closely associate with economic research 23


Fostering CreativityLook at things alternate waysAllow curiosity to growSet problems aside and come back to themWrite down your thoughts frequently I dont know what I think until I write itFreedom from distraction some time to thinkQuestion or challenge assumptions.Search for patterns or relationshipsTake risks

24Creativity may provide the difference between satisfactory and outstanding research


The concepts of reliability and validity are pertinent to all studies and at different stages of the research.

ReliabilityReliability refers to the extent to which procedures, measures and data are reproducible or internally consistent.

Problems of reliability may arise in relation to repeated measures on a piece of diagnostic equipment, uniformity between researchers in the collection of data, adherence of interviewers to an interview schedule, completeness in maintaining records of non-responders, care and attentiveness when observing events, consistency of questions in a questionnaire, agreement between researchers in the coding of data, etc.

ValidityValidity refers to the extent to which the findings of a study are a true reflection of phenomena under study.

Do the instruments (e.g. questions in an interview, records maintained by an observer) actually measure what they are designed to measure?

Potential problems in validity arise, in particular, in relation to data collection and the development of instruments.

Generalisability (external validity)The generalisability is concerned with the extent to which the findings of a study can be applied to individuals beyond the sample. Many studies involve samples rather than a whole population.

What is a scientific approach?

What are the expectations from your side as student?

What is a scientific approach?

In your methodology you need to justify your approach and methods in terms of their scientific basis

The ultimate goal of researchThe ultimate goal of research is to improve our understanding of professional practice and medicines use, to inform the development of services to meet health and pharmaceutical care needs of patients and the public.

Understand first, then applyPossessing a conceptual understanding that enables you to:

Critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship, and

Evaluate and critique relevant methodologies.

Use this knowledge to select and apply techniques applicable to your own research.

Demonstrate an understanding of how established techniques of research contribute to the development of a discipline and its application

Applied research, by its very nature, is often designed to achieve pragmatic rather than theoretical goals.

It is important to demonstrate how the work is underpinned by a scientific approach, which may, or may not, be germane to a particular discipline, and that the findings of the research are clear and dependable.

At the university real-life studies have not yet gained a similar status as the work in the lab.natural science education at university

The difference between .positivism, in which the real world is out there and can be described.

.. and constructionism in which we all construct the real world ourselves mainly through the attribution of meaning.

There is something very uncomfortable, maybe even schizophrenic, about the characteristics of researching pharmacists.

Within pharmaceutical science there are two main approaches for research: in the laboratory and in the field.

The first approach relates to natural science, and the second approach relates to social science.


Disciplinary, Subject-matter, and Problem-solving Research


From the lab to the fieldImportant part of the work within pharmaceutical science is performed in laboratories. Interesting characteristic of research performed in a laboratory is that the objects being studied are isolated from the outside world.Elimination of environmental influences is vital in a laboratory setting. In field research it not possible to ignore how the environment influences the objects.

A keen interest in the chosen subject area is advisable.

The research will have to be justified by linking its importance to already existing knowledge about the topic.

What do you think?A community pharmacy may be regarded as, a drug-delivery shop?a business?an information shop?a working place?an expertise centre for medication?a social place?or all possible combinations of such perspectives.

What do you think?Where you should do your research and why?

Scientific appraisals tends to focus exclusively on methodology and methods!

Logical thinkingWhy this study?

Subject-matter researchresearch on a subject of interest to a set of decision makers Tends to follow subject-matter boundaries within a discipline.45