Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ResearchMethods: What is Research? (U2-P4) Sp13

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 researcher 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?

How's this definition of research relate to the Mythbusters clip shown earlier?

Speaking of the Mythbusters, do you recall the previous clip?  Let's now continue the myth-busting.
Start at about 4:15 and end at about 8:55.
(Note: If the YouTube clip is no longer available, then the season 8 episode 6 can be found online on Amazon, Netflix, etc., if you are interested.)

A parting thought, actually a research question.
Research Question: Does watching Mythbusters change viewers' science literacy?
This would be a research question that a media scholar might research.  How?

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