Ways to conduct research:

  • Pure, applied, strategic
  • Descriptive, explanatory, evaluative
  • Market, academic, scientific
  • Basic, applied, instrumental, action
  • Exploratory, testing-out, problem-solving
  • as well as others

All research should have these features regardless of approach:

  • Should be planned – plan what you are researching into, how to conduct research, how to verify results and how to disseminate results.
  • Should be cautious – considering effects research and results will have on people or things involved. e.g. if researching how people use computers, it is important to consider privacy of people being observed.
  • Must be systematic – clear structure with logical steps from start to finish. Required to fulfil following two features.
  • Must be reliable – results must be correct and determination of results must be appropriate. If not, results and conclusions may be invalid.
  • Must be repeatable – once results are published, others must be able to carry out same experiments, make same observations and get same results. Conclusions may be different but results must be the same otherwise results and conclusions will not stand up to scrutiny.

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