PHASES OF RESEARCH PROCESS
If one would like to have truthful information on world around, on nature, on human being, he/she have to look for convincing data. Collecting such data is process complicated, and complex and due to this very difficult. For layman or even for medical student at the beginning of her/his professional career can seem this statement hypertrophic, overshot, and not very probable. Their view will change quickly when they are involved in research (even very simple). It is generally accepted that reliable information on human health state are necessary for prevention of disease development and disease treatment. Only way how to obtain such information is research in which are used scientific methods and it is done by qualified and experienced scientists.
Generally, research is understood as systematic, controlled, empiric and critical investigation of hypothetic statements on supposed relationships among phenomenon. It is a process in which thinking is dominant. Characteristic features of research are: – Systematic solving of scientific problems
– using scientific methods
– System of interconnecting phases and steps
The research process should be understood as one of ongoing planning, searching, discovery, reflection, synthesis, revision, and learning, as shown in the figure 1 below:
Fig. 1 The inspiration for the Research process model image above was the reflective model from: Edwards S. Bruce C. Reflective Internet Searching, an Action Research Model." In: Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management, Theory, Practice Praxis. Action Research Unit, Griffith University. 5th World Congress of Action Learning, Action Research and Process Management, University of Ballarat, Victoria, September, pp. 141-152. Cited in: Bruce, Christine Susan. "Information Literacy as a Catalyst for Educational Change: A Background Paper." U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, 2006. .
As showed above research is composed of a certain phases and steps. Step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher (Wikipedia, 2009). Taking into account different guidelines one can distinguishes different number of phases/steps in research process. Frequently, those phases/steps can have different names, e.g. Olin and Uris Library offer seven steps in doing research (Kaste and Hartman, 1998). Other guidelines recommend from 10 to 23 steps in running research (AAMC, 2001; Basic Steps in the Research Process. Cambridge Rindge and Latin School CRLS Research Guide, http://crlsresearchguide.org ; Olin Levi Warner Research helping the torch of knowledge. Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington D.C.) It seems rational to reduce the number of research phases to five and each of phases can be divided to certain steps.
The following five phases outline a simple and effective strategy for conducting effective research: I. The conceptual phase
II. Phase of construction of research design
III. Empiric phase
IV. Analytic phase
V. Disseminative phase
Phases of research process are most frequently used in the presented order. But in other guidelines you can find another order of phases and steps. This variability can be ascribed to flexibility of the formal rules of research process which should be adapted to a studied subject and to the special conditions under which the research is done.
I. Phase of conception
According Brink at al. (2006) this phase of research involves activities with a strong conceptual element. „Conceptualisation refers to the process of developing refining abstract ideas. During this phase, the researcher categorises and labels his/her impressions. Thus, the activities include thinking, rethinking, theorising, making decision, and reviewing ideas with colleagues, research partners or mentors/supervisors. The researcher also needs to draw on the skills and...
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