We explain what scientific research is and what the objectives of this process are. In addition, its characteristics and the scientific method.
What is scientific research?
Scientific research is a process of observation, reflection, control and measurement that allows the contribution of scientific knowledge . All scientific research seeks to offer something new: discover data, laws or relationships, or develop new research methods.
- Subject: The person, team, or institution conducting the investigation. The capacities and training of the subjects involved must be relevant for said research.
- Object: It is what is studied, be it an organism, event, phenomenon or inanimate entity.
- Medium: The methods and techniques used.
- Conclusion: The objectives to be pursued.
Basic Principles and Characteristics of scientific research :
The method is the steps that are followed to collect the data.
All scientific research requires prior planning . This means setting:
- Goals: What is expected to be verified or found out.
- Method: What will be the steps to be followed to collect the data. This method is somewhat more specific than the scientific method in general.
- Deadlines: Every objective is set in relation to a specific term.
For an investigation to be considered scientific, it must use methods and instruments that are considered valid by the scientific community . The methods are valid when they are reliable, but it is also essential that they demonstrate in a logical and experimental way that they are relevant in the area in which they are applied to obtain the results that are sought.
Research aims to obtain new knowledge , therefore it cannot repeat previous research. The only cases in which this occurs is to verify or complete previously obtained data, and therefore, it is the continuation of a previous investigation.
To achieve objectivity, work teams are used.
All scientific activity has a claim to objectivity. It is very difficult to eliminate all kinds of subjective appreciation , since the data obtained must always be interpreted. However, to achieve objectivity, work teams are used (avoiding the limitation to a single point of view) and publishing the methodology used to obtain the results, allowing their verification by other work teams .
For an investigation to be reliable and relevant, it cannot study a single event but must include a sufficiently large number of events or elements to reach the conclusion that it is not an isolated phenomenon. This allows, in some cases, to generalize the results obtained by the investigation.
Research results can be numerical, that is, quantitative . However, they must be explained to make explicit the conclusions that can be reached from them.
Through experimentation, hypotheses can be tested or discarded.
The scientific method is a methodological structure that can be adapted to different disciplines. It consists of:
- observation: The observation of a phenomenon motivates the beginning of an investigation.
- Creation of hypotheses: Possible results that the investigation will reach are proposed.
- Experimentation: It can refer to laboratory experimentation or repeated observation of phenomena in nature.
- Testing of hypotheses: The experimentation must confirm or discard the hypotheses raised.
The results of an investigation are published contributing to scientific knowledge.
The investigations are carried out within the framework of the knowledge already obtained by the scientific community and the challenges that arise from it. No research deemed scientific is done merely to satisfy individual curiosity. Therefore, the results are published and in this way can contribute to scientific knowledge .
When research is published, not only the results are shared, but also the methods and procedures used to obtain them. In this way , other groups are allowed to verify, correct or contradict the results obtained.
It allows the elaboration of theories
There are investigations that, due to their results, contradict theories.
Not all scientific research provides knowledge that allows generalization in the form of theories . However, the knowledge of each investigation can be added to the knowledge obtained by others and reach more general conclusions.
There are also other investigations that, due to their results, contradict theories and allow them to be rectified or discarded.
The above content published at Collaborative Research Group is for informational and educational purposes only and has been developed by referring to reliable sources and recommendations from experts. We do not have any contact with official entities nor do we intend to replace the information that they emit.