Research is a systematic and organized process of inquiry that involves collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting information to answer specific questions, solve problems, or contribute to knowledge. It is a structured investigation to gain new insights, advance understanding, or address practical issues in various fields.
Key elements of research include:
- Purpose: Research is conducted with a clear purpose or objective. This could be to explore a phenomenon, test a hypothesis, solve a problem, or contribute to existing knowledge in a particular field.
- Systematic inquiry: Research involves structured and organized information gathering. It follows a predefined methodology, which includes the design of experiments, surveys, observations, or other data collection methods.
- Data collection: Researchers collect relevant data through various methods, depending on the nature of the study. This may involve surveys, interviews, experiments, observations, archival research, or a combination of these.
- Analysis: Once data is collected, researchers analyze it using appropriate methods. Qualitative analysis, statistical analysis, or a combination of both may be used to derive meaningful insights from the data.
- Interpretation: Researchers interpret the results of their analysis, drawing conclusions based on the evidence gathered. This step involves making sense of the data in relation to the research question or hypothesis.
List of recommended resources #
For a broad overview #
This module by The Office of Research Integrity, US Department of Health & Human Services explains how scientific method is used for developing new knowledge and why it is important to follow a research plan.
This paper by Don-Wook Song defines research, its application and the two main types of research: theory and practice.
For in depth understanding #
This book by Lawrence F. Locke, Stephen J. Silverman and Waneen Wyrick Spirduso is an ideal guide for new researchers as well as professionals and works as a roadmap for those who want to apply and analyze research findings.
Written by M. I. Franklin, this book addresses the question of how to begin with research, starting with putting together a research question, figuring out the direction to take and choosing the right research methods.
Case study #
This World Bank report fills a critical research gap by documenting low-carbon policy trends and providing a series of case studies across sectors and geographies. The research furnishes country contexts and policy details, examines results and impacts, and outlines key takeaways and lessons learned for enabling further ambition in achieving emissions reductions.
This study published by the World Bank includes research, a literature review, and analysis of 53 years of reforms for women’s rights. It is part of a series of annual studies measuring the laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies.