Research essentially means systematic search for original knowledge in a specific domain. Research methods refer to the tools and methods used in conducting the research, whereas Research Methodology refers to the logic behind the choice of particular tools and methods, the sequence of steps in which the solution to the research problem is attained.
Research Methods include literature survey of records and documents, observation, questionnaire, interview (personal, focused, group), survey, case studies etc. Research Methodology is determined by the research problem and may differ according to the problem.
For working out the correct research methodology a researcher must have in-depth knowledge of research and statistical methods and tools and as well as their assumptions, applications, limitations and relevance. A sound Research Methodology leads to
- Clear cut solution
- Choice of best suited methods
- Proper sequencing of methods
- Cost, time and energy efficiencies
- No beating about the bush
- No unnecessary content, arguments or calculations.
- Ease in Readability of research report
- Ease in Evaluation of research report
- Ease in finding desired information
PhD candidates and research scholars may often face difficulties in framing an appropriate methodology due to lack of exposure and expertise in research, in such cases it is always advisable to seek consultation from experts while preparing their thesis.