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Michael B.

dela Fuente
migsdelafuente@fuji.waseda.jp

Point of Discussion




Overview of the course
Why Research?
Skills and Literature Review
Academic Requirements
Overview of Research – Definition,
Characteristics, and Nature
• Types of Research

Meetings





April 17
April 24
May 1
May 8
May 15
May 22

Overview
• RSH 630 Research Seminar 1
Focuses
on
research
methodology
and
techniques. Use of hypotheses and theories,
design models, and preparation of reports.

• RSH 631 Research Seminar 2
The course deals with the application of research
methodologies and techniques in writing a thesis
or research paper. The students are required to
prepare a thesis proposal, defend it in the
class/panel, design models, and prepare reports
and other relevant documents to complete the
requirements of the course.

Overview
• RSH 640 Thesis
Writing and defense of thesis before a
constituted academic body as fulfillment
of the requirements of the course

Why do you need this?
• To understand content of directed
reading within taught modules
• To be able to write essays or reviews
of published literature
• To be able to plan and conduct your
project where there is an element of
research in the investigation or the
evaluation of what you have done

Skills needed
• Good library working skills (literature
review)
• Keen eye for details
• More “what if’s”
• Critical
• Out of the box thinker

Literature reviews
• An account of what has been published on a
topic by accredited scholars and researchers.
Often it is part of the introduction to an
essay, research report, or thesis.
• Conducted to ensure a researcher is familiar
with ‘all’ of the what is known about a
particular field
• Often published in order to bring other
researchers up to speed quickly in an
unfamiliar field.

Literature reviews
• As a piece of writing, the literature review
must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g.,
your research objective, the problem or
issue you are discussing, or your
argumentative thesis).
• Need to have the scope of the review
carefully defined
– Not too big such that adequate coverage is
infeasible, and there is too much literature to
review and the review becomes unfocussed
(and thereby not useful)
– Not too narrow such that there are too few
papers to include

Literature reviews
• Lets you gain and demonstrate skills in
two areas
• information seeking: the ability to scan
the literature efficiently, using manual
or computerized methods, to identify a
set of useful articles and books
• critical appraisal: the ability to apply
principles of analysis to identify
unbiased and valid studies.

Ask yourself questions like
these:
• What is the specific thesis, problem, or research
question that my literature review helps to define?
• What type of literature review am I conducting? Am
I looking at issues of theory? methodology? policy?
quantitative research (e.g. on the effectiveness of
a new procedure)? qualitative research (e.g.,
studies )?
• What is the scope of my literature review? What
types of publications am I using (e.g., journals,
books, government documents, popular media)?
What discipline am I working in (e.g., nursing
psychology, sociology, medicine)?

Ask yourself questions like
these:
• How good was my information seeking? Has my search been
wide enough to ensure I've found all the relevant material?
Has it been narrow enough to exclude irrelevant material? Is
the number of sources I've used appropriate for the length of
my paper?
• Have I critically analysed the literature I use? Do I follow
through a set of concepts and questions, comparing items to
each other in the ways they deal with them? Instead of just
listing and summarizing items, do I assess them, discussing
strengths and weaknesses?
• Have I cited and discussed studies contrary to my
perspective?
• Will the reader find my literature review relevant,
appropriate, and useful?

Form of reviews
• Requires reading literature from a variety of sources
• Forming some form of taxonomy or structure for
your review
• Identifying where in your taxonomy the various
contributions from the literature fall
• Critically reviewing the literature
– Identifying different approaches, contradictions
between contributions, analysis of strengths and
weaknesses
– Not simply pasting quotes from different papers

• Drawing your own conclusions, particularly
concerning completeness of coverage
• Highlight implications for your work (if appropriate)

Example of a literature
review
Hand, C. "A Survey of 3D Interaction Techniques". Computer
Graphics Forum, 16(5): 269-281. (Dec 1997)
(Abstract)
Recent gains in the performance of 3D graphics hardware and
rendering systems have not been matched by a corresponding
improvement in our knowledge of how to interact with the
virtual environments we create; therefore there is a need to
examine these further if we are to improve the overall quality
of our interactive 3D systems. This paper examines some of
the interaction techniques which have been developed for
object manipulation, navigation and application control in 3D
virtual environments. The use of both mouse-based techniques
and 3D input devices is considered, along with the role of
feedback and some aspects of tools and widgets.

Example of a literature
review
Hand, C. "A Survey of 3D Interaction Techniques". Computer
Graphics Forum, 16(5): 269-281. (Dec 1997)
(Abstract)
Recent gains in the performance of 3D graphics hardware and
rendering systems have not been matched by a corresponding
improvement in our knowledge of how to interact with the
virtual environments we create; therefore there is a need to
examine these further if we are to improve the overall quality
of our interactive 3D systems. This paper examines some of
the interaction techniques which have been developed for
object manipulation, navigation and application control in 3D
virtual environments. The use of both mouse-based techniques
and 3D input devices is considered, along with the role of
feedback and some aspects of tools and widgets.

rationale

Example of a literature
review
Hand, C. "A Survey of 3D Interaction Techniques". Computer
Graphics Forum, 16(5): 269-281. (Dec 1997)
(Abstract)
Recent gains in the performance of 3D graphics hardware and
rendering systems have not been matched by a corresponding
improvement in our knowledge of how to interact with the
virtual environments we create; therefore there is a need to
examine these further if we are to improve the overall quality
of our interactive 3D systems. This paper examines some of
the interaction techniques which have been developed for
object manipulation, navigation and application control in 3D
virtual environments. The use of both mouse-based techniques
and 3D input devices is considered, along with the role of
feedback and some aspects of tools and widgets.

Scope of review

Example of a literature
review
Hand, C. "A Survey of 3D Interaction Techniques". Computer
Graphics Forum, 16(5): 269-281. (Dec 1997)
(Abstract)
Recent gains in the performance of 3D graphics hardware and
rendering systems have not been matched by a corresponding
improvement in our knowledge of how to interact with the
virtual environments we create; therefore there is a need to
examine these further if we are to improve the overall quality
of our interactive 3D systems. This paper examines some of
the interaction techniques which have been developed for
object manipulation, navigation and application control in 3D
virtual environments. The use of both mouse-based techniques
and 3D input devices is considered, along with the role of
feedback and some aspects of tools and widgets.

Indication of
taxonomy

• A literature review is a piece of discursive prose,
not a list describing or summarizing one piece
of literature after another. It's usually a bad sign
to see every paragraph beginning with the
name of a researcher. Instead, organize the
literature review into sections that present
themes or identify trends, including relevant
theory. You are not trying to list all the material
published, but to synthesize and evaluate it
according to the guiding concept of your thesis
or research question

Sources of information



Scientific journals
Conference proceedings (refereed and unrefereed)
Magazines, newspapers
WWW

• Important to differentiate between reported
investigations and reported opinion
• Conclusions of any investigation contain some
element of informed opinion or judgement
• Sources of information must be cited appropriately

Academic Objectives
• For example.. ‘Review methods of usability
evaluation appropriate to the evaluation of internetbased groupware systems for use by students
undertaking a course by distance learning’
– Requires review of methods described in the literature,
using the original sources (not just someone else’s
review)
– Implications of problems/needs associated with
evaluation of groupware systems
– Comparisons and contrasts between methods in light of
identified needs of groupware applications
– Your conclusions about which method(s) to use and
how

How to do it?
• Collect and read current papers and reviews of a field
• From the list of references cited in these, get copies
of those which appear relevant
• Start to classify the papers you collect in one or
several ways to form the basis of a taxonomy
• Identify authors who are prominent and check what
else they have published (WWW useful here)
• Read contents of recent relevant journals in library
• Subscribe to mailing lists for coming conferences and
look at contributors
• search on-line bibliographic archives (e.g. bids.ac.uk)

Constructively
research..

criticising

• Researchers have a vested interest in making a piece
of work appear significant and worthy of publication
• They may not be as forthcoming about the limitations
of the work as about the benefits
• Results should be reported in sufficient detail to
enable the reader to draw his/her own conclusions and
thereby judge the validity of the conclusions drawn by
the author
• Are the conclusions drawn justified by the evidence
provided?
• Is the method of investigation appropriate or flawed?
• Are the investigators aware of other similar
contributions in the field?

Overview of Research
• A way of examining your practice
• Undertaken within most professions
• More than a set of skills, it is a way of
thinking:
thinking examining critically the
various aspects of your professional
work.
• A habit of questioning what you do,
do and
a systematic examination of the
observed information to find answers.

Definition of Research
• Undertaking a research study to find
answers to a question implies that the
process:
– Is being undertaken within a framework of
a set of philosophies (approaches);
– Uses procedures, methods and techniques
that have been tested for their validity
and reliability;
– Is designed to be unbiased and objective.

Definition of Research
• Philosophies means approaches e.g.
qualitative, quantitative and the academic
discipline in which you have been trained.
• Validity means that correct procedures
have been applied to find answers to a
question. Reliability refers to the quality of
a measurement procedure that provides
repeatability and accuracy.

Definition of Research
• Unbiased and objective means that you
have taken each step in an unbiased
manner and drawn each conclusion to the
best of your ability and without introducing
your own vested interest. (Bias is a
deliberate attempt to either conceal or
highlight something).

Definition of Research
• Adherence to the criteria enables the
process to be called ‘research’.
‘research’
• Degree (of process) varies from
discipline to discipline
• Meaning (of process) differs from one
academic discipline to another.
• the process must meet certain
requirements to be called research.

Definition of Research
• composed of two syllables, re and search.
search
– re is a prefix meaning again, anew or over
again
– search is a verb meaning to examine closely
and carefully, to test and try, or to probe.

• Together they form a noun describing a
careful, systematic, patient study and
investigation in some field of knowledge,
undertaken
to
establish
facts
or
principles.

Definition of Research
• Research is a structured enquiry that utilizes
acceptable scientific methodology to solve
problems and create new knowledge that is
generally applicable.
• Scientific methods consist of systematic
observation, classification and interpretation of
data.
• The
difference
between
dayto-day
generalisation and the conclusions of scientific
method lies in the degree of formality,
rigorousness, verifiability and general validity of
latter.

Definition of Research
• A systematic enquiry,
enquiry which is reported in a
form that allows the research methods and
outcomes to be accessible to others
• Concerned with seeking solutions to problems
or answers to meaningful questions
– Meaningful questions are expressed in a way that
indicates what you will accept as an answer
– Non-meaningful (in research terms) questions are
not answerable as a result of enquiry alone (e.g.
judgemental or metaphysical questions)

• Positivism versus phenomenalism

What Research Is and What
It Isn’t







Research is an activity based on the work of others.
Research is an activity that can be replicated.
Good research is generalizable to other settings.
Research is based on some logical rationale and tied
to theory.
Research is doable.
Research generates new questions or is cyclical in
nature.
Research is incremental.
Research is an apolitical activity that should be
undertaken for the betterment of society.

Characteristics of Research
• Research is a process of collecting,
analyzing
and
interpreting
information to answer questions.
• to qualify as research, the process
must have certain characteristics:




Controlled
Rigorous
Systematic
valid and verifiable
empirical and critical.

Characteristics of Research
• Controlled
– in exploring causality in relation to two variables
(factors), set up the study in a way that minimizes
the effects of other factors affecting the relationship.

• Rigorous
– must be scrupulous in ensuring that the procedures
followed to find answers to questions are relevant,
appropriate and justified

• Systematic
– the procedure adopted to undertake an investigation
follow a certain logical sequence

Characteristics of Research
• Valid and verifiable
– whatever you conclude on the basis of your
findings is correct and can be verified by you
and others

• Empirical
– any conclusion drawn are based upon hard
evidence gathered from information collected
from real life experiences or observations

• Critical
– process of investigation must be fool proof and
free from drawbacks

Nature
of
positivist

research

-

• Deals with positive facts and observable phenomena
• Subscribes to the ‘scientific method’
• Primary goal is not only description but prediction
and explanation
• Classification of substances and events, and
observation of these, provide the basis for
descriptive laws based on consistencies in patterns
and properties
• Characterized by absolute or varying degree of
generalizability
• Quantitative, as it draws on measurable evidence

Postulates
Research

in

Positivist

• postulate of natural kinds: all
instances of classes and categories of
phenomena exhibit the same properties
• postulate of constancy: all phenomena
remain the same or change only very
slowly over time
• postulate of determinism: there is
orderliness and regularity in nature,
constancy in terms of cause and effect

Nature
of
research
phenomenalist
• Considers that each phenomena is unique
and is controlled by variables such as time,
location and culture
• No two situations are identical
• No reliance on postulates of natural kinds,
constancy or determinism
• Essentially subjective, where the content of
research and the way it is pursued is
indicative of researchers intention
• Outcomes are descriptions which are
expressed in narrative and mainly in
qualitative terms

-

Example
of
approaches…

both

Can the study of critical incidents (as
opposed to accidents) in marine navigation in
the Stockholm archipelago provide the basis
for improvements in sea safety in the area?

Example
of
approaches…

both

• Positivist approach:
approach collect data via
interview, classify types of incidents,
produce
analyses,
make
recommendations based on analysis
• Phenomenalist approach:
analyse
approach
interviews in depth, seek to draw
conclusions about causal factors

Positivist
include...

research

methods

Descriptive research
• Anything that is variable, varies to a defined
degree, and thus can be measured
• Surveys, case studies, causal comparative
studies, correlational studies, developmental
studies, trend studies
Experimental research
• Deliberate manipulation of certain factors under
highly controlled conditions
• Purpose is to identify causal connections through
keeping the levels of some variables constant and
manipulating others

Model of Scientific Inquiry
• Scientific methods consist of
systematic observation, classification
and interpretation of data.
• The goal is to find the truth or use
scientific method that results in a
reasonable and sound answer to
important questions that will further
our understanding of human
behavior.

Model of Scientific Inquiry

Steps in the research process, wherein each step sets the stage for the next.

Model of Scientific Inquiry

Steps in the research process – experimental

Types of Research

Types of Research
Classified from three (3)
perspectives
1. Application of research study
2. Objectives in undertaking the
research
3. Inquiry mode employed

Types of Research
Application of research
Two broad categories
1. Pure research – involves developing and
testing theories and hypotheses that are
intellectually challenging but may or may
not have practical application at present
or in the future. The knowledge produced
through pure research is sought in order
to add to the existing body of research
methods.
(Sometimes
called
basic
research)

Types of Research
Application of research
2.

Applied research – done to solve
specific, practical applications; for
policy formulation, administration
and
understanding
of
a
phenomenon. Can be exploratory,
but is usually descriptive.

Types of Research
Objectives in undertaking
Research can be classified as:
1. Descriptive research – attempts to
describe
systematically
a
situation,
problem, phenomenon, service or program,
or provides information or describes
attitudes towards an issue.
2. Correlational research – attempts to
discover or establish the existence of a
relationship/ interdependence between two
or more aspects of a situation.

Types of Research
Objectives in undertaking
3. Explanatory research – attempts to
clarify why and how there is a
relationship between two or more
aspects of a situation or phenomenon.
4. Exploratory research – undertaken to
explore an area where little is known
or to investigate the possibilities of
undertaking a particular research
study (feasibility study/pilot study).

Types of Research
Inquiry mode used
Two approaches are adopted to find answers:
1. Structured approach
– usually classified as quantitative research.
Everything that forms the research process
(objectives, design, sample, and the questions)
is predetermined.
– appropriate to determine the extent of a
problem, issue or phenomenon by quantifying
the variation. E.g. How many people have a
particular problem? How many people hold a
particular attitude?

Types of Research
Inquiry mode used
2. Unstructured approach

is usually classified as qualitative research.
Allows flexibility in all aspects of the research
process.
– appropriate to explore the nature of a problem,
issue or phenomenon without quantifying it.

objective is to describe the variation in a
phenomenon,
situation
or
attitude.
E.g.
description of an observed situation, historical
enumerations of events, an account of different
opinions, description of working condition in a
particular industry.

Types of Research
Inquiry mode used
Some studies combine both qualitative
and quantitative approaches.
Ex. Suppose you have to find the types
of cuisine/accommodation available in
a city and the extent of their
popularity.

Types of Research
Inquiry mode used
• Type of cuisine is the qualitative aspect of
the study as finding out about them entails
description of the culture and cuisine.

The extent of their popularity is the
quantitative aspect as it involves estimating
the number of people who visit restaurant
serving such cuisine and calculating the
other indicators that reflect the extent of
popularity.

Type of Research
Non-Experimental

Experimental

Descriptiv
e

Historical

Correlatio
nal

Qualitativ
e

True
Experime
ntal

QuasiExperime
ntal

Purpose

Describe
the
characterist
ics of an
existing
phenomeno
n

Relate
events that
have
occurred in
the past to
current
events

Examine
the
relationshi
ps between
variables

To examine
human
behavior
and the
social,
cultural,
and
political
contexts
within
which it
occurs.

To test for
true cause
and effect
relationshi
ps

To test for
causal
relationshi
ps without
having full
control

Time
frame

Current

Past

Current or
past
(correlation
)
Future
(prediction)

Current or
past

Current

Current or
past

Degree
None or low None or
Low to
Moderate
High
Moderate
of
low
medium
to high
to high
control
Summary of research methods (N.J.Salkind, Exploring Research 6th Edition. Pearson
over

Type of Research
Non-Experimental

Experimental

Descriptiv
e

Historical

Correlatio
nal

Qualitativ
e

True
Experime
ntal

QuasiExperime
ntal

Code
words to
look for
in
research
articles

Describe
Interview
Review
Literature

Past
Describe

Relationshi
p
Related to
Associated
with
Predicts

Case study
Evaluation
Ethnograph
y
Historical
Research
Survey

Function of
Cause of
Compariso
n
Between
Effects of

Function of
Cause of
Compariso
n between
Effects of

Example

A survey of
dating
practices of
adolescent
girls

An analysis
of Freud’s
use of
hypnosis
as it
relates to
current
psychother
apy
practices

A case
study
analysis of
the
effectivene
ss of
policies for
educating
all children

The effect
of a
preschool
language
program on
the
language
skills of
inner-city
children

Gender
differences
in spatial
and verbal
abilities

An
investigati
on that
focuses on
the
relationshi
p between
the
number of
hours of
television
watching
and grade
point
average
Summary of research methods (N.J.Salkind,
Exploring

Research 6th Edition. Pearson

Types of Research
(according to N.J. Salkind)
• Experimental Research
– Examines the direct cause-and-effect
relationship between variables.
• True Experimental Research
– subjects are assigned to groups based on
some criterion, often called the treatment
variable or treatment condition.
– True experimental research designs isolate
and control all the factors that could be
responsible for any effects except the one
of most interest.

Types of Research
(according to N.J. Salkind)
• Experimental Research

Quasi-Experimental Research
– participants are preassigned to groups based on
some predetermined characteristic or quality.
– Group assignments have already taken place
before the experiment begins and the researcher
has no control over who is assigned to which
group.
– Also called post hoc,
hoc or after the fact, research
because the actual research takes place after the
assignment
of
groups
(e.g.
abusive vs.
nonabusive,
employed
vs.
unemployed,
malnourished vs nonmalnoursihed, male vs.
female)

Academic Research
• In academic research, you must not only answer a
question, but you must find something new and
interesting.
• You join a community of researchers.
– You must advance the collective understanding of this
community.

• Each community has a cumulative tradition with a set
of interesting questions, tools and methods, practices,
a style and language for writing up the research.
– Research is a conversation and ongoing social activity!

• You need critical and careful reading of published
research
– to learn what the community already knows
– to fit your work into the community
– to be prepared for your own work to be evaluated

A Question
• Every piece of research should address a
question of interest to the community
• Each community has a tradition of style of
question,



what happens?
why does it happen?
how should one do something?
what something should one do?

• Many questions fit into an on-going agenda
– e.g. find data models to represent different sorts
of information
– e.g. move data and computation in a network to
exploit locality

A claim
• Every piece of research makes a claim (the
“contribution”)
– this should answer a question of interest

• Claims can be very diverse, among fields
and within fields
• This is what happens
– e.g. how often is data corrupted when using
weak concurrency control

A claim
• This is why something happens
– e.g. what factors lead to project success in
open-source development

• This is a better way to do something
– e.g. efficiently recalculate a graph layout after
a change to topology
Be explicit about
the meaning of
• This is a better something to do
“better”

– e.g. allow users to see the model of their skills
kept in a teaching system

Evidence
• You must back up the claim
– evidence can be very varied, for examples
• a prototype implementation to show that a system can be
built to achieve claimed functionality
• a simulation model which is executed to show a system has
certain properties
• measurements of a running system to show it has good
performance
• observations of behavior in an organization to show what is
happening
• a mathematical proof to show that some process has desired
properties

• Each research method is defined by the sort
of evidence that it can produce
– each community has its own standards of quality and
reasonableness

Argument
• You should show that the evidence
you offer supports the claim you made
– It’s essential that you deal with natural or
obvious objections to the correctness or
importance of the work
– that is, you must think like your readers,
and anticipate their reactions

• In systems work, this is often called an
“evaluation” of the design

References
• http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/specifictypes-of-writing/literature-review
• Institute of Hotel Management-Gwalior.
Research Methodology. (
http://www.ihmgwalior.net/pdf/research_methodo
logy.pdf
)
• Baac, Valentino G. Thesis and Dissertation
Writing A Guide for Students 2nd Ed. HisGoPhil
Publications
• Salkind, Neil J. Exploring Research 6th Ed.
Pearson Education International