Research Methods and Research Methodology are two terms that are often confused as one and the same when strictly speaking they are not so as they have many differences between them. One of the primary differences between them is that research methods are the methods by which the research is conducted into a specific subject or a topic. On the other hand, research methodology explains the methods by which you may proceed with your research.
What are Research Methods?
Research methods can be defined as the various ways and means of conducting a research that involve the conduct of experiments, tests, surveys and the like. It can be said that research methods aim at finding solutions to research problems. There are many types of research methods. For example, exploratory research which helps define and identify a problem. Then, empirical research, which uses empirical evidence to test the feasibility of a solution. Constructive research aims at testing theories in turn, proposing solutions to a query. Research methods can be further broken down to four categories such as Descriptive research, which involves research vs analytical data; Applied research, which deals with research vs basic research; Quantitative research, which involves research vs quantitative; Conceptual research dealing with empirical research.
What is Research Methodology?
Research methodology is the science of systematically solving a research problem. Often recognized as how a research is to be done scientifically, research methodology involves the learning of the various techniques we can use in the conduct of research such as the conduct of tests, experiments, surveys and critical studies. These methods have been properly tested and utilized and, therefore, each one has a logic behind them. Research methodology aims at the employment of the correct procedures to find out solutions and paves the way for research methods to be conducted properly. Research methodology is the guidebook of research and is a science in itself.
Taking for example the subject matter, ‘employment of figures of speech in English literature,’ research methodology will involve the study about the tools of research, collation of various manuscripts related to the topic, techniques involved in the critical edition of these manuscripts and the like.
Research Methods vs Research Methodology
• Connection to Research:
• Research methodology is rooted in the existence of the methods. Research methods are in the primary line of conducting the research.
• Research methodology explains what and how appropriate certain means and methods will be to a certain subject.
• Research methods consist of the techniques that allow studies and experiments to be successfully initiated, performed and concluded.
• Stages of Research Involved:
• Research methodologies are employed at the beginning of the experiment to explain the purpose of the chosen methods and how they will serve its function.
• Research methods are more useful during the latter part of a research or an experiment since they are being utilized for conclusions to be appropriately made.
In conclusion, one can say while research methodology is a multidimensional subject, research methods constitute a part of the broad term of research methodology.
- Research Process by Jtneill (CC BY 3.0)
- Scientific research by Idaho National Laboratory (CC BY 2.0)