Fifteen (15) Definitions of Research
The field of natural sciences deals with the study of physical world, while the field of social science studies human behavior, views, correlation, and as well as institutions. The fact that some refers to social sciences as a soft science is unrelated to absence of objectivity in the field but rather the object under inquiry is the social life of human which is difficult to observe and give accurate measurement (Neuman, 2014).
The inquiries into the social life of man, “understanding exactly how it is that we know what we know”, focusing on the means social scientists get to identify social truths can be ascertained through social science research methodology (Blackstone, 2018). Though there are several sources of knowledge, but social science researchers are dependent on organized procedure to ascertain social facts and these organized structures are otherwise known as research methods (Blackstone, 2018).
Educational research is implied when research activities are geared towards unravelling educational problems or bringing about improvement in teaching and learning. According to Ary (2001). Educational research is “the way in which one acquires dependable and useful information about the educative process”. While Travers (2016), says that educational research is “an activity directed towards the development of an organised body of scientific knowledge about the events with which educators are concerned”.
FIFTEEN (15) DEFINITIONS OF RESEARCH
- According to the Microsoft Encarta (2009), the prefix re – means again, anew, backward while the word search means to examine something thoroughly that is to look into, over, or through something carefully in order to find something. It also means to discover something by examination – to come to know or find something by examination. When both words are put together, we see research to mean the systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting information concerning a subject matter.
- Leedy (1997) defines research as the systematic process of collecting and analyzing information (data) in order to increase our understanding of the phenomenon with which we are concerned or interested.
- Travers (1969) has described research as an activity directed towards the development of an organized body of scientific knowledge about the events with which human beings are concerned.
- Best and kalin (2015) Defined research as the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalizations, principles or theories, resulting in prediction and possibly ultimate control of events.
- Research is an organized and systematic way of funding answers to questions (Aworh, 2006).
- Research is the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lend to the development of generalizations principles, or theories, resulting in prediction and possibly ultimate control of events (Best, and Kahn, (2006).
- Research is an attempt to investigate or examine a phenomenon, event or an object (etc) carefully with a view to improve understanding of the phenomenon or event (Babie, 1995).
- Research is a process of conducting a study or making an enquiry in order to unravel (or discover) new facts or confirm already established facts Collins (2000).
- Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1996) defines research as “studious inquiry or examination; esp: investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws”.
- According to Patten, (2005) research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.
- An inquiry into the nature of, reasons for, and the consequences of any particular set of circumstances, whether these circumstances are experimentally controlled or recorded as they occur-(kothari, 1990).
- Best & Kahn (1995) agree that research is the systematic and objective analysis as well as recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalizations, principles or theories, resulting in prediction and possibly, ultimate control of events.
- According to Kothari (2002) Research is a systematic investigation to find solution to a problem.
- Cooper & Schindler (2003) Research in any organization is the inquiry carried out to provide information for solving problem.
- Kerlinger (1973) defined research as “systematic, controlled, empirical and critical investigation of hypothetical prepositions about the presumed relations among natural phenomena”.
Fifteen (15) Definitions of Research
Research is a well-structured inquiry about phenomenon, for the purpose of ascertaining facts and innovation of logical conclusions. Research in social science context is designed for, around and undertaken by human. Research is so important in our everyday life today that it is necessary that every ‘educated’ person should be able to at least understand it.
Babie .E (1995) : The Practice of Social Research, California Wordsworth Publishing Company
Best, J.W. and Kahn, J.V. (2006). Research in Education. Baston, Pearson Educational Inc.
Blackstone, A. (2018). Principles of sociological inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative methods. Retrieved from https://openlibraryrepo.ecampusontario.ca/jspui/handle/123456789/296
Collins et (2000): Research in the Social Sciences Pretoria, University of South Africa.
Hassan, T. (1995). Understanding Research in Education. Lagos: Merrifield Publishing Co.
Kerlinger, F.N. (1973). Foundations of Behavioral Research, Second Edition. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.
Koul, R.B. (1992). Methodology of Educational Research. India, Vikas Publishing House PVT Ltd.
Mansfield, E. (1980). Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing. The American Economic Review, 70(5), 863-873. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/1805767
Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), 23-48.
Nyanjui, P.J. (2006). Introduction to Research. Nairobi: Kenya Institute of Education.