The knowledge of research methods is valuable as a consumer of research for many reasons. When this topic is discussed, the initial thought is that researching gives individuals’ ideas and information on the topic they are researching. It also gives them the tools needed to learn how to problem solve and think analytically. This is an important factor because this will allow the consumer to learn more about the topic in questions and be better educated in the subject. Along with this, the knowledge of research methods is valuable because it allows consumers to learn the techniques of being a successful researcher.
Research methods provide individuals with ideas, tools and approaches on how to be a successful consumer of research. If a consumer does not know the technique on how to approach research, they can spend hours studying materials and resources that may not be useful to their research. Knowing how to approach the two types of research, research to learn and research to contribute, will help a consumer determine the most effective approach to research with the best outcome. Beginning this process starts with revisiting the scientific method, which although seems elementary, is very efficient in the research process.
Consumers of scholarly research are individuals who use sources of research that were done by an accredited institution and have prebias or a set agenda based opinions they are trying to prove through the research. Research conducted by accredited institutions have a higher quality of factual information researched and are well respected. When consumers of scholarly research are attempting to prove their point, or their agenda, they seek out well respected sources to solidify the swaying of opinions readers may have about their research.
Conducting actual research can be referred to as research to contribute, as the consumer is taking part in the hands-on research, exploring information and piecing together items to prove a theory. The more research you do hand on, the more knowledge you gain about the topic you are researching. It also provides better leverage in being able to prove a theory you are trying to present. Conducting research can be followed by the scientific method to help establish a successful research project.
The credibility and reliability of peer reviewed sources can be debated based on the scholarly sources. In a peer reviewed journal, it was debated whether or not if articles published in peer reviewed and throw away journals were reliable sources. “Although lower in methodologic and reporting quality, review articles published in throwaway journals have characteristics that appeal to physician readers.” (Rochon). Surprisingly, in a peer reviewed article, it was found that even research literature without highly reputable academic sources are enjoyed and read by researchers and individuals seeking informative sources. This would not be the expected outcome but this result gives credit to peer reviewed sources as much important information can be found in these types of research sources.
Rochon, P., Bero, L., Bay, A., & Gold, J. (2002). Comparison of review articles published in peer-reviewed and throwaway journals. JAMA, 287(21), 2853–2856. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.287.21.2853
The knowledge is important because it provides information/facts supporting the findings of certain theories. There are a variety of methods you can adopt for your research strategy/methods, depending on your subject area or the outcome of your research. Research methodology will differ depending on whether you are doing an empirical study, using quantitative data or qualitative information, or mixed methods approach. (Snelson, 2016) Positivist methods, such as laboratory experiments and survey research, are aimed at theory or hypotheses testing, while interpretive methods, such as action research and ethnography, are aimed at theory building. (Reverby, 2012) Positivist methods employ a deductive approach to research, starting with a theory and testing theoretical postulates using empirical data. If a researcher is seeking very current sources, or historical research, critical analysis. (Snelson, 2016) Research design is the answering specific research questions or testing specific hypotheses, and must specify at least three processes: (1) the data collection process, (2) the instrument development process, and (3) the sampling process.
Non Scholarly research may claim to be citing credible sources, but they may not actually be. They may not acknowledge the ongoing conversation surrounding the issue, and may present knowledge as the ultimate truth, the one right perspective on a topic. Probably won’t cite texts, and don’t usually use in-text citations or works cited pages.
Favored research methods could be a problem to the consumer of research. Many researchers have a tendency to recast a research problem so that it is amenable to their favorite research method such as survey research. This is an unfortunate trend. Research methods should be chosen to best fit a research problem, and not the other way around.
Consumer of scholarly research use scholarly sources engaged with and build upon credible, authoritative sources. Participate in a larger, ongoing conversation on the topic, and this conversation is evident in the scholarly essay. Always properly cite their sources, always a Works Cited, References, or Bibliography and some form of in-text citations. (Reverby, 2012) Often present information as negotiable, even when a scholar is arguing for one way of looking at things, s/he will at least acknowledge that there are other ways of looking at the topic or issue. Almost always peer reviewed by other scholars. The investigation of the needs and opinions of consumers, especially with regard to a particular product or service.
The research process is scattered with problems and pitfalls, and novice researchers often find, after investing substantial amounts of time and effort into a research project, that their research questions were not sufficiently answered, or that the findings were not interesting enough, or that the research was not of “acceptable” scientific quality. (Vaishnavi, 2004) Such problems typically result in research papers being rejected by journals. Some of the more frequent mistakes are described below.
Snelson, Chareen L. (2016). “Qualitative and Mixed Methods Social Media Research”. International Journal of Qualitative Methods.
Reverby, Susan M. (2012). “Zachary M. Schrag. Ethical Imperialism: Institutional Review Boards and the Social Sciences, 1965–2009. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Vaishnavi, V., Kuechler, W., and Petter, S. (2004). “Design Science Research in Information Systems”
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