Study Notes For Research Methodology Topics for UGC NET EXAM

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Based on the analysis of previous year cbse ugc exam net paper 1 this has been seen the most of the question were from one of following categories

Important topics

  • Different definition
  • Qualities of good research
  • Classification of research
  • Steps involved in research
  • Standard and good practices
  • Hypothesis
  • Variables used in research

Definition of Research :

Research is a logical and systematic search for new and useful information on a particular topic.

In the well-known nursery rhyme

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ,How I Wonder What You Are”

The use of the words how and what essentially summarizes what research is. 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 indeed civilization and determines the economic, social and political development of a nation. The results of scientific research very often force a change in the philosophical view of problems which extend far beyond the restricted domain of

science itself.

Objectives of Research?

The prime objectives of research are :

  1. to discover new facts
  2. to verify and test important facts
  3. to analyses 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.

Research is not confined to science and technology only. There are vast areas of research in other disciplines such as languages, literature, history and sociology. Whatever might be the subject, research has to be an active, diligent and systematic process of inquiry in order to discover, interpret or revise facts, events, behaviors and theories. Applying the outcome of research for the refinement of knowledge in other subjects, or in enhancing the quality of
human life also becomes a kind of research and development.


Is there any difference between research methods and research methodology?

Research methods are the various procedures, schemes and algorithms used in research. All the methods used by a researcher during a research study are termed as research methods.

They are essentially planned, scientific and value-neutral. They include theoretical procedures, experimental studies, numerical schemes, statistical approaches, etc.

Research methods help us collect samples, data and find a solution to a problem. Particularly, scientific research methods call for explanations based on collected facts, measurements and observations and not on reasoning alone.

They accept only those explanations which can be verified by experiments.

Research methodology is a systematic way to solve a problem.

It is a science of studying how research is to be carried out. Essentially, the procedures by which researchers go about their work of describing, explaining and predicting phenomena are called research methodology.

It is also defined as the study of methods by which knowledge is gained.

Its aim is to give the work plan of research.


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Research is broadly classified into following  main classes:

  • Fundamental or basic research

    • Basic research is an investigation on basic principles and reasons for occurrence of a particular event or process or phenomenon. It is also called theoretical research. Study or investigation of some natural phenomenon or relating to pure science are termed as basic research.
    • Basic researches some times may not lead to immediate use or application. It is not concerned with solving any practical problems of immediate interest. But it is original or basic in character. It provides a systematic and deep insight into a problem and facilitates extraction of scientific and logical explanation and conclusion on it.
    • It helps build new frontiers of knowledge. The outcomes of basic research form the basis for many applied research. Researchers working on applied research have to make use of the outcomes of
      basic research and explore the utility of them.
    • Research on improving a theory or a method is also referred as fundamental research. For example, suppose a theory is applicable to a system provided the system satisfies certain specific conditions.
    • Attempts to find answers to the following questions actually form basic research.
      • Why are materials like that
      • What are they?
      • How does a crystal melt?
      • Why is sound produced when water is heated?
      • Why do we feel difficult when walking on seashore?
      • Why are birds arrange them in ‘>’ shape when flying in a group
    • Examples of Fundamental or Basic Research :
      • All Famous Theorems of Physics
      • All Laws of Maths and science we studied from childhood
  • Applied research

    • In an applied research one solves certain problems employing well known and accepted theories and principles. Most of the experimental research, case studies and inter-disciplinary research are essentially applied research.
    • Applied research is helpful for basic research. A research, the outcome of which has immediate application is also termed as applied research.
    • Such a research is of practical use to current activity. For example, research on social problems have immediate use. Applied research is concerned with actual life research such as research on increasing efficiency of a machine, increasing gain factor of production of a material, pollution control, preparing vaccination for a disease, etc. Obviously, they have immediate potential applications.
    • Differences between basic and applied researches.
      Differences between basic and applied researches.
  • Action research

  • Educational research is further divided into following four categories
    • Historical research
    • Qualitative research
    • Quantitative research
    • Experimental research

Types of research can be looked at from three different perspectives

Types of research can be looked at from three different perspectives (Figure 1.2): 1. applications of the findings of the research study; 2. objectives of the study; 3. mode of enquiry used in conducting the study
Types of research can be looked at from three different perspectives (Figure 1.1):
1. Applications of the findings of the research study;
2. Objectives of the study;
3. Mode of Inquiry used in conducting the study


Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

The basic and applied researches can be quantitative or qualitative or even both. Quantitative research is based on the measurement of quantity or amount. Here a process is expressed or described in terms of one or more quantities.
The result of this research is essentially a number or a set of numbers. Some of the characteristics of qualitative research/method are:

• It is numerical, non-descriptive, applies statistics or mathematics and uses numbers.
• It is an iterative process whereby evidence is evaluated.
• The results are often presented in tables and graphs.
• It is conclusive.
• It investigates the what, where and when of decision making

Where as the Qualitative research is concerned with qualitative phenomenon involving quality. Some of the characteristics of qualitative research/method are:

• It is non-numerical, descriptive, applies reasoning and uses words.
• Its aim is to get the meaning, feeling and describe the situation.
• Qualitative data cannot be graphed.
• It is exploratory.
• It investigates the why and how of decision making


Whenever a scientific problem is to be solved there are several important steps to follow. The problem must be stated clearly, including any simplifying assumptions. Then develop a mathematical statement of the problem. This process may involve use of one or more mathematical procedures. Frequently, more advanced text books or review articles will be needed to learn about the techniques and procedures. Next, the results have to be interpreted to arrive at a decision. This will require experience and an understanding of the situation in which the problem is embedded. A general set of sequential components of research is the following:

  • Selection of a research topic
  • Definition of a research problem
  • Literature survey and reference collection
  • Assessment of current status of the topic chosen
  • Formulation of hypotheses
  • Research design
  • Actual investigation
  • Data analysis
  • Interpretation of result
  • Report

Summary :

So far, we have seen different types of research methods and methodology  along with key differences. the important take away from this part is definition  of research and difference. In next part we will see  various stages of research and the key items to be considered.


Part 2  >>


1. Dawson, Catherine, 2002, Practical Research Methods, New Delhi, UBS Publishers’Distributors
2. Kothari, C.R.,1985, Research Methodology- Methods and Techniques, New Delhi, Wiley Eastern Limited.
3. Kumar, Ranjit, 2005, Research Methodology-A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners,(2nd.ed.),Singapore, Pearson Education.

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

Few links to be refereed for more  Study

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  1. Amy B. says

    Hello Sir, I am an aspirant of UGCNET…I would be grateful if you could assist me in my preparation for the Test..I have been appearing multiple times till date but unfortunately I am lacking in my preparation…

  2. Mukesh Kumar Gaur says

    Nice sir but give questions related this topic

  3. Thomas says

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 cerd3

  4. Manpreet Kaur says

    hello sir do you think the above explaination is enough from the paper point of view???

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