We explain what is scientific research and what are its elements. In addition, what types of scientific research exist.
What is scientific research?
Scientific research is a procedure of reflection, control and criticism that works from a system, and that it is proposed to provide new facts, data, relationships or laws in any field of scientific knowledge.
The information that will result will be of relevant and reliable character (worthy of credit), but it cannot be said that it is absolutely true: science aims to discover new knowledge, but also It is to reformulate the existing ones, in accordance with the advances in technology, technology and thought.
Those who carry out this kind of research are called scientists, and in the present time, the main limitation is the availability of resources to sustain the research for as long as it demands.
This should be noted, since for a long time the scientific discovery was limited by political or religious issues, which were transformed into dogmas against those that could not be investigated. In addition, science was not seen as something so necessary for society, but as a more individual process, so it was difficult to find a scientist who receives an income from his activity.
Scientific ethics is the set of ethical principles that underlie all inquiry into science. It generally contemplates not causing avoidable suffering to experimental animals and respecting the confidentiality of data of individuals.
As for the remuneration for work, most modern countries offer scholarships and incentives for scientific research.
See also: Non Experimental Research.
Elements of a scientific investigation
Scientific research is composed of three main elements:
- The object. what is investigated, understood as the subject on which it will be investigated. As man's knowledge about the world is not complete, here lies the question that all research is historical and spatial. If a new paradigm installs new notions, it is possible that questions that were taken as indubitable in an investigation will be discarded by a new one.
- The middle. the set of appropriate techniques to carry out the investigation. This will also be temporary, but a scientific method has been established with which it is believed that they can be tested and ensure that the proposals are reliable. The scientific method consists of the observation, then the collection of the relevant data of that observation, from that formulate the hypothesis, carry out the experimentation that it confirms and from that draw up a conclusion. The step of the hypothesis is where it intervenes the ability of the scientist, who may be wrong: in that case, after the conclusion he can go back and propose another alternative hypothesis. Some disciplines, such as historical research, have other kinds of methods that involve primary or secondary sources.
- The purpose of the investigation. the reasons why the investigation was launched. One part may involve the collection of data (information), another part may be linked to the development and demonstration of a theory or model. The research also aims to obtain auxiliary methodology, and to create new methods or instruments of contrast.
It can serve you: Steps of the scientific method.
Types of scientific research
Scientific research can also be classified from different fields:
- Depending on its purpose and purpose. It will be pure research when trying to increase the theoretical knowledge of a subject, while it will be applied research when knowledge points to an immediate application to reality.
- Depending on your previous knowledge, it may be exploratory, descriptive or explanatory: in the first case I will look for an overview of a new topic of study, in the second, you want to find the structure or How something works, and in the third, you want to find the laws that determine those behaviors.
- According to the means to be investigated. It will be a documentary investigation when it is based on analysis of data obtained from different sources, it will be field research when I will collect the data directly from the place where it is produced the fact, and will be experimental when the researcher himself must create the conditions to establish the cause-effect relationship of the phenomenon.