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Presentation on theme: "RESEARCH PROCESS WITH PROBLEM IDENTIFACTION AND FORMULATION Vivek Patkar"— Presentation transcript:


2 What Research is not: Research is not just information gathering Research is not rearranging the facts and figures alone Research is not playing of words Research is not a sales gimmick

3 What is Research? Starts with a question or problem Accepts certain basic assumptions or theories Requires unbiased data collection and analysis Expects critical interpretation Performs validation Needs articulated documentation and presentation Leads to further research

4 Research Focus Generating novel but useful ideas. Learning to challenge the existing knowledge. Using creative capacity to discover or invent something new including theory and interpretation. Bringing a new creation to fruition. Diversifying as far as possible, particularly, latter in the career.

5 Research Aims 1.To understand the properties of the given phenomenon. (voter-behaviour) 2.To understand relationships between variables. (existence of causal links) 3.To predict the outcome. (use of theory) 4.To replicate research for validation. (confirm or refute) 5.To develop new algorithms or instruments. (implementation and testing) 6.To produce a theory. (ultimate goal)

6 Strategy Hypothesis Problem Data Collection, Data Analysis Design of Experiment Critical Interpretation Checking for Validity Publication Writing Ethics Followed at Every Step Research Methodology Framework

7 Research Process It is a systematic linear process with a few parallel activities along side It is transparent It is confined to the study of a well defined problem It involves in-depth analysis & validation Its outcome is to be interpreted within the data limits, but critically It provides clear verdict on the problem It is often cumulative in nature

8 Types of Research Extension or generalisation of the currently available results Explanatory (why), finding the reasons by building theories & hypotheses and testing them Descriptive (what, where, who & how), leading to prescription Benchmarking study contd….

9 Types of Research Predictive (estimating future values) Evaluation study (effect of TV on reading habits) New / Improvement of process or product or service y = a 0 + b 1 x 1 + b 2 x 2

10 Impact Assessment Study Economic: wages, employment, land values Demographic: sex ratio, age structure Fiscal: sales tax, property tax Community: demand for services, housing, transport Social: displacement, leisure activit y, crime Environmental: quality of air, water

11 Online or E-Research Use of research methods to study different aspects of the Internet Use the Internet to apply research methods for the research questions It facilitates collaborative research Online surveys & interviewing, online focus groups, virtual ethnography are the popular tools Refer for details:

12 Types of Legal Research Evolution Tracing Research (How legal system evolved?) Evaluative Research (explain what law is) Identification Study (who benefits?) Impact Study (on groups & community) Projective Research (Legal Commission) Predictive Research (misuse possibilities) Collative Research (data organisation) Historical Study (tracing a legal fact) Comparative Study (over time or country)

13 Legal Research Forms

14 A System of Law Normative System - Legal Norms - Provisions - Conventions Social System - Roles - Statutes - Institutions Social Control System - Authority - Power - Sanctions How law is created? What are its criteria? Role of law-makers? Role of law-interpreters? Role of law-enforcers? Role of law-abiders? Role of law-breakers? How legal rules and non-legal rules are inter-related? ? ??

15 A Comparison Legal Research Validity of doctrinal research is unaffected by the empirical world Internal participant- based epistemological approach Subjective argument- based methodologies Deductive and analogy reasoning is predominantly used Sci. & Soc. Sci. Research Validity of research findings is determined by empirical investigations Generally objective approach Use of quantitative and qualitative methodologies Induction, deduction, retroduction and abduction methods used

16 Disciplinary Models

17 Broad areas of legal research could be: Doctrinal Research – study the legal rules, principles and concepts; develop theories Research in Theory – examine conceptual basis for legal rules and principles Empirical Investigations - assess impact of law and reveal the gap between legal theories, idealism and social reality Reform-Oriented Research – recommend changes in law and legal institutions Select Legal Research Areas Dennis Pearce, Enid Campbell, & Don Harding, Australian Law Schools: A Discipline Assessment for the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission (AGPS, 1987). Non-Doctrinal

18 A possible career path for a legal academician!

19 a.ascertain suitable law on a given topic or subject in the given context. b.highlight ambiguities and inbuilt weaknesses of law. c.critically examine consistency, coherence and stability of law and legal propositions. d.undertake social audit of law to understand its creation and impact in practice. e.make suggestions for improvements in, and development of, law. Legal Research can help to: P M Bakshi, Legal Research and Law Reform, in S K Verma & M Afzal Wani (eds), Legal Research and Methodology, Indian Law Institute, New Delhi, p. 111.

20 Research Steps Identify the Research Problem Prepare a Research Plan Collect the Data Analyse & Interpret Data, Validate Prepare the Research Report Select the Research Strategy Establish Research Questions S-1 S-2 S-3 S-4 S-5 S-6 S-7 Research Proposal Preliminary Research Activities [continuous literature search is expected] Approval Ethics is followed at every Step

21 Starting Point Curiosity Cause Effect relationship study To generalise the available results Dissatisfied with the existing product or process or explanation To test an unorthodox idea

22 Locating a Problem Paradox and contradiction: By focusing on such phenomenon new opportunities can be explored – treat them as leverage points (e.g. bumper crop, but starvation continues) Perspective and scale: Building different perspectives from different observation points helps (e.g. legal competence from feminine perspective) Reengineering option: Considering this approach to a situation often provides new opportunities (e.g. virtual classroom teaching and academic performance)

23 Problem Identification The problem is the aspect the researcher - worries about, - thinks about, and - wants to find a solution for. The purpose is to solve the problem, i.e. find answers to the question/s. Examples: 1) Suicides in recent years by the farmers in Maharashtra (why?) 2) Commercialisation of education in India (what are the impacts?) 3) A digital divide prevails in the Indian society (how to bridge it?) 4) Social capital in the urban areas helps the migrants (how?)

24 Legal Research Topics Select Areas: Law Reform Research Social-Legal Research or Law in Context Research Sociology of Law Law and Environmental Economic Movements Critical Legal Studies Cyber Laws

25 Ways for Problem Identification Drawing on life experience Historical incidence Item in the news Eye-witness Local issues Country or region specific Guides research programme Cyber inspiration

26 Initiation Outline the general context of the problem area Highlight key theories, concepts and ideas current in that problem area Enlist basic underlying assumptions of the problem area Write down the identified important issues Focus on what is to be solved or resolved

27 Idea Development Literature Search: Use different libraries; take notes (Refer Index to Legal Periodicals – Indian, Foreign; for Indices - Database - CURIA) Do the Internet search; scan pertinent blogs; note the URLs & date of browsing Locate major authors and institutions active in the area (get in touch with them) Actions-Interactions: Crystalise your ideas, frame the objective and prepare first draft of your proposal Discuss it with various experts

28 Problem Background Are there issues about this problem to which answers have not been found up to the present? Why are these identified issues so important? What needs to be solved? What are the underlying assumptions? How far is it relevant in the Indian context?

29 Problem Statement Grammatically correct Complete, unambiguous and well articulated All the technical terms are suitably defined Division in sub-problems for better management of the study & further translation into research questions

30 Research Questions To be researchable, a research problem has to be translated into one or more research questions. Types of Research Questions: What questions require a descriptive answer (describing the features of a social phenomenon) Why questions ask for the causes or reasons for the observed features (seeking to understand the relations between social processes) How questions are concerned with bringing about change (suggesting possible interventions and outcomes)

31 Types of Questions ¶ Testable questions – should help building, theories & experiments and carrying out analysis ¶ Closed questions – those having a specific answer that may or may not be known e.g. what is the trend in the rate of inflation during the last 18 months? ¶ Open questions – may have multiple answers and require considerable research e.g. what would be the composition of Party-wise Loksabha Members after 2014 elections?

32 To advance the science of law, the issues could be: ¶ Why a particular rule? ¶ What led to its adoption? ¶ What are its effects? ¶ Whether it is suited to the present conditions? ¶ How can it be improved? ¶ Whether it needs to be replaced entirely by a new rule? A Sample of Legal Research Enquiry S N Jain, Legal Research and Methodology, 14 Jr of Ind L Inst 487 (1972), at 490.

33 Research Question Forms A research question is a logical statement that progresses from what is known and factual to that which is unknown and needs validation. Two forms of research questions: - a central question - associated or sub-questions Ex.:- How can the quality of Indian research be raised? Which are the governing factors? What is to be changed in the education system? What could be the incentives?

34 A Research Question Feature §Research Questions should be Well Grounded. §Well grounded means that they are searchable questions. §Well grounded questions are not too narrow, too broad, nor too challenging. §In practice it implies inclusion of key words or terms, one can use to search information resources (both online & print) to know more about research done in that area.

35 Problematic Questions Too Narrow: Does India have a written Constitution? When was the Emergency declared in India? These questions have a Yes or No answer, or can be replied by one word. Too Broad: What is the history and value of Philosophy? This question cannot be covered in the scope of single work. Too Challenging: Why is the Indian college education so lopsided? This question is too opinionated and is based upon peoples feeling and would need a very large study.

36 Example of a Research Question Topic: A Study of Mid-Day Meal Scheme in the Municipal Schools in Jalgaon Research Question: What are the health and academic benefits of mid-day meal scheme in primary, and middle school sections of the Municipal Schools in Jalgaon?

37 Sub-questions Sub-questions are narrower questions that together answer the research question. Example: Research Question: What are the health and academic benefits of mid-day meal scheme in primary, and middle school sections of the Municipal Schools in Jalgaon? Sub-questions: 1.What are the standards for health and academic performance adopted by the concerned public authorities in Jalgaon? 2.Is there a difference made by the mid-day meal scheme in the health and academic performance of elementary and middle school sections of the Municipal schools in Jalgaon? 3.Does mid-day meal supply a certain amount of nutrition value? 4.How does mid-day meal scheme operate and in what way can it be strengthened and expanded?

38 Types of Research Questions Existence [Do senior citizens suffer from general slowing?] Description and Classification [What are the characteristics of span of attention? Is it constant or variable?] Composition [What are the factors that increase crimes?] Relationship [Is saving directly related to income?] Descriptive-Comparative [Are instruction booklets with text and graphics more effective than those with text alone?] Causality [Does dividing attention degrade performance?] Causality-Comparative [Is swimming better than cycling to build the physical stamina?]

39 Good Questions Characteristics: Clear Specific Answerable Interconnected Substantially relevant Sub-questions could be converted in hypotheses, if justified

40 Research Problem Social Phenomenon: Housing shortage is a chronic problem in urban India Research Problem: What are the nature, causes and consequences of housing shortage in a given urban area?

41 Research Problem: What are the nature, causes and consequences of housing shortage in a given urban area? Research Questions: What is the extent of housing shortage? (data on population, family size, housing stock…) What are the consequences of housing shortage? (slum proliferation, abnormal rents…) Why does the shortage exit or what is the root cause of the shortage? (shortage of land, high construction cost,…) How can the shortage be removed? (promoting LIG house-building schemes, policy of increasing FSI…)

42 Settlement Unit No. of Persons Anthropos 1 Room 2 House 5 House Group 40 Small Neighbourhood 250 Neighbourhood 1500 Small Polis (Town) 10,000 Polis 75,000 Small Metropolis 5,00,000 Metropolis 4 million Small Megapolis 25 million Megapolis 150 million Small Epropolis 750 million Epropolis 7500 million Ecumenoplis 50,000 million C.A. Doxiadis, ACTION for Human Settlement, Athens Centre of Ekistics, 1976, p.185.

43 Urban Area according to the Census of India is: a)All statutory places with a Municipal Council, Municipal Corporation, Cantonment Board or Notified Town Committee, or b)A place satisfying all the following conditions: a minimum population of 5000, at least 75% of male population is engaged in non-agricultural activities, and a density of population is at least 400/ Town with population more than or equal to 1,00,000 is called City.

44 Topic Selection (Academic Research) Factors to be considered: Relevant to the institution and time State of the current knowledge Emerging research area (future oriented) Data expediency can largely be ensured Availability of guidance & facilities Personal confidence

45 Select Leads Some triggering event observed or learned about Own experience or the experience of others Literature review to notice that a certain field or types of problems are not covered Shortcomings of the existing theories Fancy for some topic or concept arising out of the study say, during the L.L.M. or M.Phil. stage

46 Select Leads (2) Research can thus be aimed at clarifying or substantiating an existing theory clarifying contradictory findings correcting a faulty methodology correcting the inadequate or unsuitable use of statistical techniques reconciling conflicting opinions solving existing practical problems Developing better algorithms or methods

47 Generic Design Science Often scope of the problem is either not properly defined, or it has too many dimensions, or too few dimensions. Generic Design Science addresses this issue by balancing the following three factors: 1. Variety 2. Parsimony 3. Saliency

48 Variety Prepare exhaustive list of factors associated with a design situation Solicit inputs from as many participants and stakeholders as possible using different means [Aim is to build the maximum possible variety in design to counter the variety in tune with Ashbys law of requisite variety]

49 Parsimony Sort out the factors in their importance through wider debate and discussion Identify the most critical factor for system design [Aim is to make the problem manageable in practice in tune with Millers law of parsimony on human information handling capacity]

50 Saliency Simplify the design by matching proposed features with critical needs Prepare a sequence for system or experimental study implementation [Aim is to derive a priority structure among the activities to guide implementation in tune with Warfields law of saliency]

51 LEARNERS DURATION FACULTY Primary Secondary College Post-Grad. 45 minutes 60 minutes 75 minutes 150 minutes Regular Part-Time Visiting Private/ Contract Govt. Private International Nominal Standard Variable FUNDINGFEES A Classroom Management System Lecture Case Study Project Work PADEOGOGY Tie Line COURSE Fixed Varied Evolving FOCUS Concept Method History Use

52 Checklist 1.Is the problem of interest for both current and future? 2.Is the research question put in clear, concise and argument form? 3.Will its study contribute significantly to either theory or practice? 4.Will it lead to new research? 5.Will it be practical to conduct the research?

53 Checklist (2) 6.Can the research be completed within a reasonable time say, three years? 7.Is it possible to obtain reliable data? 8.Is one qualified or trained to handle the problem? 9.Will there be serious ethical issues involved in the conduct and presentation of the research? Answers to most of these questions (except Q.9) should be affirmative to commence the research

54 Research Steps

55 Researchers SWOT Analysis (with respect to the research topic) Strengths: qualifications experience reputation Opportunities: novel problem new computer tools multidisciplinary work Weaknesses: inadequate facilities analytical tools writing skills Threats: strong competition time limit Internal hostility

56 Academic Guides Role Assessing the research theme potential Indicating possible approaches Preparing for the research journey Judging the quality of results Examining the interpretation, validation

57 SMART(ER) Principle Specific: Articulate objective/s Measurable: Quantifiable results/output Achievable: Realizable in practice Relevant: Possible applications in sight Timely: Avoid abnormal delay Evaluated: Acceptable i.e. flawless Recorded: Widely noted and cited Aim to submit your Ph. D. Thesis within three years Work should result in at least two research papers in the top class journals in the field – more are welcome!

58 Research Tips Read and think constantly about your topic and prepare notes for reference Write weekly research memo Stick to your research design Collaborate with a Statistician for designing the experiments Write and present your Thesis Chapters periodically to your Guide Discuss your work with different subject experts Enjoy the research activity

59 Thank You


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