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Applied research

Is a form of systematic inquiry involving the practical application of science. It accesses and uses some part of the research communities' (the academia's) accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state-, business-, or client-driven purpose. Applied research is compared to pure research (basic research) in discussion about research ideals, methodologies, programs, and projects. Applied research deals with solving practical problems and generally employs empirical methodologies. Because applied research resides in the messy real world, strict research protocols may need to be relaxed. For example, it may be impossible to use a random sample. Thus, transparency in the methodology is crucial. Implications for interpretation of results brought about by relaxing an otherwise strict canon of methodology should also be considered.

Basic Research
Investigation and analysis focused on a better or fuller understanding of a subject, phenomenon, or a basic law of nature instead of on a specific practical application of the results.

Elements of Research
What does the product of an expert researcher look like? To provide a concrete example of the research process, we will dissect a biology article in the field of genetic engineering and examine the research effort that went into it. This article is a significant piece of scholarship, something an expert researcher would write. While you would not have the subject expertise or time to complete such a project during your time in college, it provides an opportunity to learn from the experts.

Title Number of References Types of References Notice the Range of Years Scholarly Notice That No Article Deals Exactly with the Topic Research Hints What's Not Noticeable

Title The title is a gauge of how clearly you understand your topic and the benchmark for determining whether you are staying focused on your topic. View this article entitled "Commercialization of transgenic plants" (hereafter referred to as the Commercialization Example). The authors decided to focus on the genetic engineering of commercial plants, like corn or wheat, and not wild plants. Notice the subheading following the colon. This is an important technique for clearly narrowing a topic. Genetic engineering of commercial plants is the main topic of the study, but only the ecological risks will be dealt with fully. This means health issues and government regulation issues will either not be covered or be covered tangentially. If the authors had not added the subheading, "potential ecological risks," the topic would have been far too broad and unmanageable. On the other hand, if the title had been "Commercialization of transgenetic plants: Bacillus thuringiensis and herbicide-tolerant legume," the researchers might not have found enough information to build a paper of reasonable length. To write a successful research paper, the thesis statement must be clear and concise and neither too broad nor too narrow. Number of References Notice in the Commercialization the number of references the authors used: seventy-one. The more sources you find, the easier it will be to write a high-quality research paper. As a general rule, collect twice as many sources as your professor requires. You can then evaluate them critically, and you will have the luxury of

eliminating those that are inferior or miss the focus of your thesis statement. The authors of this article probably had hundreds of sources to choose from but felt that these were the most relevant. Types of References Notice the different types of referencesin the Commercialization . Most of the references are for journal articles (Adler, Arias, Bartels, etc.), several are for books (Anderson, Baum, Gatehouse, etc.), two are for websites (APHIS and NBIAP), two are for papers given at a conference (Gould 1992 and Krattiger), and one refers to a government document (Snow). Heavy dependence on journal articles is typical for most disciplines in the sciences and the social sciences. The humanities, as a rule, rely equally on books and journals. However, each discipline has its own unique sources of knowledge.Become knowledgeable concerning where information in your discipline is most readily found. Range of Years Notice the range of years in theCommercialization . There are 31 references (44%) to material published in 1994, 1995, and 1996, the three years previous to the publication year. This is to be expected in a fast-changing field like genetic engineering. Expectations vary from discipline to discipline and topic to topic. In some areas, the definitive works might have been written three decades or three centuries ago. As a general rule, your professor will expect you to locate current scholarship on the subject as well as important historical sources. Notice the authors reference a number of "classics." To better understand how oats and millet propagate, the authors cited the 1977 books by Baum and Brunken on the subjects. It's important for the researcher to understand what has already been written on the subject. Also, there are nearly as many references to sources published in the 1980s as there are to sources published in the 1990s. To write intelligently on a topic today, you must understand what went on before. Successful scholars stand on the shoulders of those who went before them.

Scholarly Sources Notice that all the journal references in the Commercialization are fromscholarly journals (in a later section we'll discover how to tell a scholarly journal from a popular magazine.) You'll be able to use a few articles from popular magazines, such as Time and Newsweek, but most of your sources will have to be from scholarly journals. Tangential References Notice that no article in the Commercialization deals exactly with the topic. It's the rare article that covers a research topic exactly. Chances are you will need to look

for articles that address your topic from a number of different viewpoints. For example, some of the sources look at only one type of plant, others deal with plant genetics, while others focus on resistance to viruses. It will be up to you to synthesize all that material into your paper. Research Hints Look for research hints in the references. Notice in the Commercialization that Gould, F. is listed five times. This may indicate an authority on the subject. Similarly, if several authors cite the same author, then it's safe to assume that this person is an expert on the subject and that other books and articles by this author should be sought. Or, you may discover a useful phrase that may lead to other useful articles. For example, Bacillus thuringiensismight be a bacteria worth examining more carefully. Research requires that you pay attention to all the clues and hints scattered along the way.

What's Missing? There is no evidence of the blood, sweat, and tears the authors shed! Everything is nicely polished, and arguments flow smoothly into each other. The introduction clearly identifies the issues, and the conclusion summarizes the findings. But if the authors were to stand before you, they would describe their journey, their long days and nights locating sources, the frustrating dead ends, and the continual revising and rewriting.

EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH
Experimental Research - An attempt by the researcher to maintain control over all factors that may affect the result of an experiment. In doing this, the researcher attempts to determine or predict what may occur. Experimental Design - A blueprint of the procedure that enables the researcher to test his hypothesis by reaching valid conclusions about relationships between independent and dependent variables. It refers to the conceptual framework within which the experiment is conducted. Steps involved in conducting an experimental study

Identify and define the problem. Formulate hypotheses and deduce their consequences. Construct an experimental design that represents all the elements, conditions, and relations of the consequences. 1. Select sample of subjects. 2. Group or pair subjects. 3. Identify and control non experimental factors. 4. Select or construct, and validate instruments to measure outcomes. 5. Conduct pilot study. 6. Determine place, time, and duration of the experiment. Conduct the experiment. Compile raw data and reduce to usable form. Apply an appropriate test of significance.

Research Method: Field Experiment


Describe: A field experiment is an experiment that is conducted in the field . That is, in a real world situation. A field experiment applies the scientific method to experimentally examine an intervention in the real world rather than in the lab. An experiment in psychology is the only research method that can claim a cause and effect relationship between two variables. The experimental method is thus a controlled procedure involving the manipulation of an IV in order to observe or measure its effect on aDV. The experimental method is particularly popular within the biological, cognitive and behaviourist perspectives, or approaches, in psychology. A field experiment is still an experiment: the IV is manipulated to see the effect on the DV, as many controls as possible, seeking a cause and effect relationship. In field experiments the participants are not usually aware that that they are participating in an experiment. The independent variable is still manipulated unlike in natural experiments. Field experiments are usually high in ecological validity and may avoid demand characteristics as the participants are unaware of the experiment. However, in field experiments it is much harder to control confounding variables and they are usually time consuming and expensive to conduct. In field experiments it is not usually possible to gain informed consent from the participants and it is difficult to debrief the participants. The main advantages are: 1. Mundane realism-i.e. can apply the results to everyday life (everyday environment). 2. Less prone to demand characteristics (i.e. the participant is more likely to behave normally instead of either pleasing the researcher or going against the researcher).

The main disadvantages are: 1. Less control over extraneous variables (i.e. other things that could affect the results other than the IV). 2. Less replicable than Lab experiments (i.e. harder to repeat because every set of participants everyday environment will be slightly different).