Defining the scientific method

The scientific method is a practical framework for answering your research questions. Defining the scientific method involves making decisions about the type of data you need, the methods you will use to collect and analyze it, and where and for how long your research will take place. Please continue reading to understand the different scientific methods according to your scientific field.

define the scientific method

There are often many possible ways to answer your questions. The decisions you make will be partly based on your priorities. For example, do you want to determine cause and effect, draw generalizable conclusions, or understand the details of a specific context?

You need to decide whether you will use primary or secondary data and qualitative or quantitative methods. You should also determine the specific tools, procedures, and materials you will use to collect and analyze your data, as well as your criteria for selecting participants or sources.

Define the main lines

As you begin to plan a research project, develop research questions, and create a research plan, you will need to make various decisions about the type of research you want to conduct.

There are many ways to categorize different types of research. The words you use to describe your research depend on your discipline and field. In general, however, the shape your research design will take will be shaped by:

  • The type of knowledge you want to produce
  • The type of data you will collect and analyze
  • Sampling methods, timing and location of research

The first thing to consider is the type of knowledge your research aims to provide.

research-design

The scientific method is a framework for planning your research and answering your research questions.

Creating a research plan means making decisions about:

  • The type of data you need
  • The location and duration of the search
  • Participants and sources
  • Variables and assumptions (if applicable)
  • Data collection and analysis methods

The scientific method defines the parameters of your project: it determines exactly what will be included and what will not be included. It also defines the criteria by which you will evaluate your results and draw your conclusions. The reliability and validity of your study depends on how you collect, measure, analyze and interpret your data.

For math problems

Faced with a problem related tohelp with the decision, the first (and most important) step is to analyze the problem in order to construct a mathematical model. This model responds to a thought process called the “scientific method” which consists of five steps:

  1. Aspects math : the analysis of the specifications allows to highlight the constraints and the objectives of the models. Constraints and objectives must be able to be written using algebra and logic.
  2. Modelization : following the mathematical understanding of the problem, the modeling step consists in finding the best tool to represent the model. Among these tools, we can cite the graph theory, the game theory, the linear programming, the constraint programming etc.
  3. Analysis and resolution : following the modelling, it is necessary to be able to analyze the complexity in time and space of the model after having modeled it from a point of view algorithmic.
  4. Implementation and results : you have to find the best way to implement the algorithm, whether in a programming method or in a language, in order to create the most relevant and efficient software possible.
  5. Deployment of solutions : the last step consists in validating the model created by solving other problems of the same form as the original one.

scientific method decision support

Which data to choose

Here is the type of data you will need to use. Knowledge creation and knowledge extraction depend greatly on your scientific field and the standards of the dedicated scientific method.

Defining the scientific method scientific method

Here are some of the most commonly used scientific methods.

Defining the scientific method scientific method

Have control over your data

Finally, you need to consider three closely related questions: How will you select research subjects or participants? When and how often will you collect data from your subjects? And where will the research take place?

research-design

Choosing between all of these different search types is part of the process of creating your search design, which determines exactly how the search will be conducted. But the type of research is only the first step: then you have to make more concrete decisions about your research methods and the details of the study.

Write the research proposal

Now that you have determined the problem, the scientific locks and the method to follow, we will have to summarize and formalize all that!

Finally, after completing these steps, you are ready to write a research proposal. The proposal describes the background, relevance, purpose and plan of your research.

In addition to outlining the background, problem statement, and research questions, the proposal should also include a literature review that shows how your project will fit with existing work on the topic. 

You may need to have the proposal approved by your supervisor before you begin, and this will guide the process of writing your thesis or dissertation.

The research proposal must respond in order to the following points:

Why – the overall aims and objectives (purpose) of the research.

What – the subject to be studied and the variables included.

Where – the location or setting of the study, i.e. where the data will be collected and which entity the data will belong to.

When – the timeframe within which the data should be collected.

Who – the subject of the study and the population from which they will be selected. This population must be large enough to be able to make generalizations.

How – how the research is to be conducted, including a description of the research design (for example, whether it is experimental research, qualitative research, or case study), methodology, research tools and analysis techniques.

Now you need to start doing an in-depth state of the art. For that, you have to know how to do it and how to read a scientific paper.

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