We explain what an investigator is, how it is classified and the objectives it pursues. Also, what are its characteristics and qualities.
What is an Investigator?
A researcher is an individual dedicated to the exploration and / or deepening of the available knowledge regarding a topic of interest, whether of a scientific-technological, humanistic or methodological nature.
Researchers are in charge of developing a specific topic and increasing the knowledge of humanity in the area, providing solutions to dilemmas, answers to uncertainties or new mechanisms of expression. Thus, researchers can come from any area of expertise and have any profession.
This type of specialists play a fundamental role in the development of science and the arts , especially within the academy or as part of various human industries. It is they who submit to trial and verification the theories that exist about reality and about the human being himself, allowing knowledge to accumulate and be renewed, and not be a set of static knowledge.
History of the research profession
The specific job of researcher appears as part of the processes of specialization of tasks within the constituted society , especially as a result of the appearance of science and the scientific method , which meant the verification of man’s ability to understand and modify the surrounding reality .
The emergence of specialized academies and institutes that managed to translate knowledge into profitable techniques and products ended up establishing the trade in the West since the seventeenth century.
Types of researcher
There are several types of researcher, according to their position with respect to the institutions in which the trade is administered:
- Independent Those who act on their own account, without depending on an institution that endorses them or channels their efforts.
- Attendee. Those who are part of the staff of an institution (public or private) and who provide support to other researchers with greater experience or scope.
- Academic. Those who have carried out a career within the framework of an educational or teaching institution.
Types of research
According to its methods and sources, the following types of research can be discussed:
- Bibliographic. Go to documents, books and other informative or specialized or period media.
- Hemerographic. Go to magazines, newspapers , yearbooks, and periodicals.
- Field. Search your data and sources in reality itself, using information gathering tools, such as surveys or polls.
- Scientific It uses the steps of the scientific method to study a certain segment of reality, either theoretically (hypothetically) or experimentally (reproducing the phenomenon).
- Artistic. It investigates the methods of creating aesthetic objects, both pictorial, musical, audiovisual, plastic or literary.
Research institutes are the dependencies of universities, scientific or technological institutes , ministries and other public and private knowledge management centers.
They house teams of researchers from a certain and specific area , usually with a certain range of determined purposes and can be scientific, humanistic, artistic, etc.
It is known as obstacles to the difficulties that are presented to a researcher in the framework of his work to obtain knowledge, some of which are typical of any investigation, others related to his person. These obstacles are:
- Ethnocentrism. Subjective tendency to value some cultures above others, interpreting information based on historical criteria of cultural predominance.
- Subjectivism. Tendency to modify or interpret research results based on wishes, personal or subjective criteria, which contravene the research methodology.
- Authoritarianism. Tendency of the institutions of power, both academic, political or of any nature, to intercede in the investigation processes and adulterate the results or force some specific interpretation.
- Methodological impediments. Possible defects of any investigation such as lack of inputs, errors of judgment, etc.
The specific objectives of every researcher vary according to the nature of the investigation , but in broad terms it can be said that their fundamental objective is always to submit to judgment, review, evaluate, verify and obtain conclusions regarding a specific hypothesis, that is, an initial approach to the topic that the researcher will deal with. In other words: add specialized knowledge.
Importance of the researcher
The role of researchers is capital in a society that values knowledge and that aspires to develop in scientific, technological and humanistic terms.
Without researchers, there would be no way to accumulate specialized knowledge that can be translated into practical applications of any kind: medical, industrial, scientific, social, police, etc.
Professional qualities of a researcher
Every researcher must satisfy certain methodological and professional requirements, which guarantee the success of his company:
- Commitment. No research is carried out without tenacity and persistence, without understanding that it is a process that is made up of successive and consecutive steps.
- Documentation. No topic comes out of nowhere, so a search for sources and antecedents should always be made that allow the researcher to know who approached the topic before him and from what perspective.
- Verification. Especially useful for experimental researchers, since they must repeat some experiments to ensure that their obtained results are valid and not fortuitous, controlling the variables of the case.
- Drafting. A good presentation of the results obtained is almost as important as the method used for them.
Personal qualities of a researcher
- Reflexivity. The ability to think in the abstract to deduce, infer, and obtain new points of view.
- Objectivity. Indispensable in research life, it involves the ability to keep personal wishes and characteristics outside the range of research results, even if they are not what the researcher would expect.
- Curiosity. A minimum of curiosity and passion for learning is necessary for every researcher: a certain desire to find out the mysteries of a specific subject of reality.
- Discipline. This translates into the ability to organize oneself, be meticulous, persevering and respectful of a method, so that the results of the investigation are as little contaminated as possible with subjective or foreign aspects.
Research methodology is called the discipline that documents, questions and organizes the methods and procedures used in the different possible types of research, in order to create a specialized framework that serves to train new researchers.
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