Research methodology

The methodology of the research is continually confused with the design of the research, so it is important that we clarify the differences before developing the topic.

What is the difference between Research Design and Research methodology?

The research design is a plan to answer your research question. In as much a method or methodology of investigation is a strategy used to implement that plan. The design and research methods are different but closely related because a good research design ensures that the data you obtain will help you answer your research question more effectively.

What research method should I choose?

It depends on the purpose of your investigation. Consider what areas or categories and what phenomenon you want to study. Let’s say you’re interested in studying what makes people happy, or why some students are more aware about recycling on campus. To answer these questions, you must make a decision about how to collect your data. The most used methods include:

  • Observation / participant observation
  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Experiments
  • Secondary data analysis / file study
  • Mixed methods (combination of some of the above)

A particular method may be more suited to your research objective than others, because the data you collect from different methods will be different in quality and quantity. For example, surveys are generally designed to produce relatively short answers, rather than the extended responses expected in qualitative interviews.

What other factors should I consider when choosing one method over another?

The time for data collection and analysis is something you should consider. A method of observation or interview, the so-called qualitative approach, helps you gather richer information, but it takes time. Using a survey helps you gather more data quickly, although details may be missing. Therefore, you should consider the time you have for research and the balance between the strengths and weaknesses associated with each method (for example, qualitative vs. quantitative).

So far the concepts are not yet clear, then we will detail below.

What is a research methodology?

First let’s define what a methodology is. Like the term scientific method, it is perceived differently in different organizations according to the objective of each institution. The elements that are considered to be defined are:

  • research procedures used (the “why” of a methodology: it must have a methodology for research, which is what an accident investigation really is)
  • Approach, strategy and methods (the intellectual basis of a methodology: conceptually, it must be based on an integrating approach and strategy).
  • system of principles, practices and procedures (what is a methodology, this is one that I have used for previous research, the principles provide the intellectual basis for the development of a methodology and are an essential component)
  • system of methods followed in a particular discipline (more than it is, not a method but a system of methods)
  • documented approach to carry out activities in a coherent, coherent, responsible and repeatable way (more than it is: a methodology is “formalized” when documenting it, so that other users can achieve verifiable results when they use it)
  • organized, documented (more than it is, a methodology can not be simply a mixture of unorganized and non-integrated methods or procedures)
  • A set of procedures or methods used to conduct investigations (more than it is: it incorporates a set of procedures or methods instead of a single procedure or method)
  • The methodology is sometimes used as a synonym for “method”, particularly a complex method or set of methods, rules and postulates used by a discipline. Some arbitrators of use consider this use as pretentious and questionable. (more than it is, but do not confuse method with methodology)
  • In software engineering and project management, a methodology is a coded set of practices (sometimes accompanied by training materials, formal educational programs, worksheets and diagramming tools) that can be done repeatedly to produce software. (more than what its elements are)
  • Methods, procedures and techniques used to collect and analyze information (what the methodology does)
  • collect, store, analyze and present information; A research process (more than what you have to do – the methodology must provide the presentation of the information it generates)
  • Tested (it must have been proven that it works)
  • knowledge organization methodology (more than what you have to do, provide the organization of the information you use)

These points must be consolidated as criteria to decide if what is presented as a research methodology is actually a methodology. A methodology must be based on an intellectual framework that links all the practices and procedures of the methodology to an internally coherent and mutually supportive whole. Be documented or “formalized” so that all users can achieve coherent, consistent, responsible results that can be replicated.

Definition: the methodology is a systematic process to achieve a goal in a given time to refute, modify or affirm the existing theory on a topic or show a novelty. In simple terms, data collection and analysis.

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