O'Reilly logo

Experiment!: Planning, Implementing and Interpreting by Oivind Andersson

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

5.2 Characteristics of Research

Being able to spot the difference between development and research is one thing. Being able to state unique, defining characteristics of research is another. We will take a look at two attempts to do this and discuss how well they capture the essential features of scientific work.

In a popular book on research methods, Leedy and Ormrod [2] explain that, although research activities may differ substantially in complexity and duration, they typically have the following eight distinctive characteristics in common:

  • Research originates with a question or problem.
  • Research requires the clear articulation of a goal.
  • Research requires a specific plan for its realization.
  • Researchers usually divide the principal problem into several, more manageable subproblems. Solving these will solve the main problem.
  • Research is guided by the specific problem, question, or hypothesis that it originates from.
  • Researchers accept certain critical assumptions, which serve as a foundation for their analysis.
  • Research requires collection and interpretation of data.
  • Research is cyclical in nature. New problems are often identified during scientific study and to solve these the process must begin anew.

Most researchers probably agree that this description captures some important features of research. The question is if they are sufficiently unique to determine if a certain set of activities is research or not. If your car does not start one morning, the troubleshooting process ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required