Research Methodology

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S. Rajasekar
School of Physics, Bharathidasan University, Tiruchirapalli – 620 024, Tamilnadu, India∗

P. Philominathan
Department of Physics, Sri AVVM Pushpam College, Poondi, Thanjavur – 613 503, Tamilnadu, India

V. Chinnathambi
Department of Physics, AKGS Arts College, Srivaikundam – 628 619, Tamilnadu, India In this manuscript various components of research are listed and briefly discussed. The topics considered in this write-up cover a part of the research methodology paper of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) course and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) course. The manuscript is intended for students and research scholars of science subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, biology and computer science. Various stages of research are discussed in detail. Special care has been taken to motivate the young researchers to take up challenging problems. Ten assignment works are given. For the benefit of young researchers a short interview with three eminent scientists is included at the end of the manuscript. I. WHAT IS RESEARCH?

arXiv:physics/0601009 v2 25 Jan 2006

(3) to analyse an event or process or phenomenon to identify the cause and effect relationship (4) to develop new scientific tools, concepts and theories to solve and understand scientific and nonscientific problems (5) to find solutions to scientific, nonscientific and social problems and (6) to overcome or solve the problems occurring in our every day life. B.

Research is a logical and systematic search for new and useful information on a particular topic. It is an investigation of finding solutions to scientific and social problems through objective and systematic analysis. It is a search for knowledge, that is, a discovery of hidden truths. Here knowledge means information about matters. The information might be collected from different sources like experience, human beings, books, journals, nature, etc. A research can lead to new contributions to the existing knowledge. Only through research is it possible to make progress in a field. Research is done with the help of study, experiment, observation, analysis, comparison and reasoning. Research is in fact ubiquitous. For example, we know that cigarette smoking is injurious to health; heroine is addictive; cow dung is a useful source of biogas; malaria is due to the virus protozoan plasmodium; AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is due to the virus HIV (Human Immuno deficiency Virus). How did we know all these? We became aware of all these information only through research. More precisely, it seeks predictions of events and explanations, relationships and theories for them.

What Makes People do Research?

This is a fundamentally important question. No person would like to do research unless there are some motivating factors. Some of the motivations are the following: (1) to get a research degree (Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)) along with its benefits like better employment, promotion, increment in salary, etc. (2) to get a research degree and then to get a teaching position in a college or university or become a scientist in a research institution (3) to get a research position in countries like U.S.A., Canada, Germany, England, Japan, Australia, etc. and settle there (4) to solve the unsolved and challenging problems (5) to get joy of doing some creative work (6) to acquire respectability (7) to get recognition


What are the Objectives of Research?

The prime objectives of research are (1) to discover new facts (2) to verify and test important facts

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(8) curiosity to find out the unknown facts of an event

2 (9) curiosity to find new things (10) to serve the society by solving social problems. Some students undertake research without any aim possibly because of not being able to think of anything else to do. Such students can also become good researchers by motivating themselves toward a...
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