Monday, September 10, 2012

MassMedia: What is Research? (U2-P1)

Research is:

“Disciplined inquiry...studying something in a planned manner and reporting it so that others can replicate the process” (Frey et al.)

Keywords: planned, reporting and replicate
What do they mean in this context?

Research, as discussed here, is more than "research" done at the library.  Instead of reading through books and online materials for answers that some other researcher has found, you conduct original research on your own to find the answer.  That is, you conduct an experiment or a survey or a textual analysis or some other research method to find the answer.  Somebody is not telling you an answer in a book or report, you are finding the answer to your research question on your own.

Two types:
  • Scholarly 
    • conducted to promote public access to new knowledge
    • usually conducted by a professor at a university
  • Proprietary
    • conducted for a specific audience, results not shared
    • usually conducted by a research at a company

Why are results not shared in proprietary research?
Could you give examples of each of the two types?
Which of the two types of research would you be more likely to do in the future?

How does this discussion of research relate to the earlier discussion of science?

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  1. Proprietary research is not shared because it is often conducted for financial reasons – or with financial rewards in mind. It would not be financially beneficial for a company to release their research results to competitors. An example of proprietary research would be KFC's research when creating their "special" recipe. If KFC released the results of their research to the general public it would suffer financially as it would lose it uniqueness. An example of scholarly research would be a professor studying the actions or reactions of a specific group of people to specific stimuli. I believe this relates to our earlier discussion of research because the type of research you are doing and the results you are seeking from that research determines a) the methods you use to do the research and b) the criteria you use to gauge the success of your research.

  2. The article we read about interpreting communication research defines proprietary research as that which is conducted for, and available only to, a specific audience. The definition explains why the information is not shared; the research is only for a specific audience. For example, that audience may be a company’s marking and advertisement department. They may look at information such as samples, models, and target audience. An example of scholarly research would be when Ale Gore discussed the topic of global warming. His presentation was conducted to promote growth in public awareness.

    Dr. Hart if it seems that I am incorrect, please correct me.

    In the near future I am more likely to conduct scholarly research simply because I am still in school. Many of the research papers I have to do come with a presentation, so my classmates and others will see my research.

  3. The results of proprietary research are not shared because it is privately owned and controlled. Meaning that it is only shared to a specific audience. Proprietary research can include secret formulas, processes, and methods used in production. It can also include a company's business and marketing plans, salary structure, customer list contracts, and computer systems. The FBI and their job duties are an example to proprietary research. This post was very helpful and interesting.

  4. How does the following news story from this past week's Mass Media in the News, fit into this discussion?

    Favorite TV reruns may have restorative powers - Science Daily

    Also, Eboni mentioned Al Gore. Did Gore do primary or secondary research in the presentation of his documentary ( What is the difference between primary and secondary research? Hint: See reading. As you move from being an undergrad to being a grad student, which type would you be more likely to do?

  5. Information in proprietary researh is not shared because it is usually funded by a private organization for the explicit purpose of expanding that organizations technology or information base. It may be used in product development or enhancement. An example of this would be in Apple's proposed improvements to the iPhone (iPhone 5). In such cases, a company would not want to share such research or information with competitors.

    Scholarly research is conducted for the purpose of gaining new knowledge or proposing new theories. An example would be in researching the effects of cowboy movies in promoting confrontations during the 1960's. Personally, I perfer scholarly research because it promotes greater theorhetical perspective on issues which may lead to an improved understanding of society.

    This explanation of the two types of research is related to the earlier discussion of science in that both (research and science) involve elements of skepticism, critical thinking, and curiosity. This is evident in the statement, "“Science is the quest for knowledge, not the knowledge itself,” which also applies to the basic function of research.


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