There are various types of research studies and they have been categorized on several bases. However, the different types of research studies are different in perspective but the main goal is to gather facts and figures to get some information about a phenomenon, situation, people or object.
Types of research studies
Below are listed some types of research studies from different viewpoints. There can be other viewpoints on the basis of which the research studies can be categorized. This classification is established by Kumar, Ranjit in his book Research Methodology.
Application of Research
If you want to classify research on the basis of its application then there are three categories of research: action research, applied research, and pure research.
Objectives of Research
There can be many objectives involved in conducting a research, but the primary objective is one. On the basis of objectives, we can classify research studies into descriptive research, explanatory research, exploratory research, and correlational research.
Types of Information Required from the Research
Information to be sought can be either qualitative or quantitative. In today’s research models, some researchers use both qualitative and quantitative model: a mixed method research.
Data Collection Methods
From the viewpoint of data collection, research can be either primary research or secondary research. The primary and secondary research means that the primary research uses primary source of data collection, while secondary research uses secondary tools of data collection.
1. Applications of Research
- Pure Research deals with testing of hypotheses or theories which may not be helpful or applicable at present but may have practical utility in the future. Such studies are conducted in pure and social science when the aim of the researcher is to test abstract concepts. Pure research is undertaken in each field of study with an aim to find out new research tools, equipment, methodologies, frameworks, and procedures. Pure research comprises a large percentage of the total research conducted every year by the industries, universities, and other academic institutions.
- Applied Research, on the other hand, is conducted to find out solutions for any problem in the present. Most of the research are applied research in any field. The findings of the pure research provide new insight and techniques to conduct applied research. In the journey of knowledge, pure research is the first step and applied research is the second step. The products and other inventions that are made with the applied research can then be applied to the society at the stage of development.
- Action Research is done to solve an immediate problem or other specific problems and to find out the best strategy to deal with these problems in the future.
2. Objectives of Research
- Descriptive Research as the name suggests describes any situation, phenomenon or situation. Descriptive research is simpler than other forms of research. It may describe the conditions of black Americans, academic structure of a university in any place, the living conditions of war-affected people or the needs of special people.
- Exploratory Research is undertaken to find out the feasibility of any research study. In many studies, researchers undertake small studies before they start the actual study. This small study is also called as the pilot study. Pilot study or exploratory study suggests whether it will be feasible to undertake the actual study.
- Explanatory Research explains why or how there is a relationship between two or more than two aspects. For example, if in one of correlational study a researcher has concluded that consumption of junk food causes cancer and heart diseases, in exploratory research the researcher will study why junk food causes cancer and how it causes cancer. The researcher will focus on the main elements in junk food that causes such diseases or any other possible reasons.
- Correlational Research determines correlation between two or more than two situations, phenomenon, people or aspects. Many studies are correlational. For example studying the relationship between drug intake and cancer, divorce and children grooming, early marriages and childbearing are all correlational researches.
3. Types of Information Required from Research
- Quantitative Research study seeks information that can be quantified and accurate and exact results can be obtained. The quantitative research is undertaken using quantitative variables, tools, techniques, and procedures.
- Qualitative Research is in most cases a descriptive research. The purpose of this sort of research is to describe a situation, phenomenon or problem. Qualitative research tools, procedures, and measurement scales are used in qualitative research.
4. Data Collection Methods in Research
- Primary Data Collection methods, when used in research, are called primary research. Primary data collection tools include observation, questionnaire, interview, experiments and some other methods. Primary tools in research increase validity and reliability of research.
- Secondary Data Collection tools, when used in research, are called as secondary research. Secondary tools can be obtained from many sources like books, periodicals, journals, magazines and other resources. Primary data collection tools are difficult to obtain but are more valid and secondary data collection methods and tools are mostly widely available but are less valid than primary tools.
- Mixed Method Research is a research in which the researcher uses both primary and secondary data collection tools. In most research, the researcher focuses on both methods because each has its own benefits and conducting research with only one method can become cumbersome and less practical.