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Definition of research

Refer to scientific and systematic research for a particular information/data on specific problem facts or ideas on both social and natural science


Is the science of collecting, observing, selecting, evaluating and presenting (reporting) of particular information


-Is the care full and systematic investigation of new fact/ideas of any information

-Is the movement from unknown to known

Geographical field research

Is the process of seeking, observing, selecting, investigating or experimenting a problem of geographical nature on a field
Is the scientific study of certain geographical phenomena.

Types of Research

1.   Applied Research/action research

2.  Basic research or /pure or /fundamental

3.  Quantitative research

4.  Qualitative research/descriptive research

5.   Analytical research

6.  Conceptual research

7.  Empirical research

8.  Description research

Note:Types of research according to the purpose or aim of research are Applied Research/action research and Basic research or /pure or /fundamental.Type of research according to the type or nature of data are Quantitative research and Qualitative research/descriptive research.

1. Applied research;-

This is the type of research that aimed at finding the solution of immediate problem that face the society industry or business. The central aim at applied research is to discover solution to some particular pressing problems

–   It is a research that is of direct and immediate relevance to decision makeraddress problems that seem to be as important and need to be solved for the benefit of the people concerned.

 2.   Fundamental/pure/basic research

It mainly concern with scientific discovery. It is a type of research carried out for the sake of generating knowledge. It is mainly concerned with generating and formulation of theories and therefore it does not intend to solve any immediate problem

 3.  Quantitative research

This is the information or data, which explain distribution of phenomena in quantity form. It is mainly deals with quantitative values(It deals with numerical form).

4.  Qualitative research

It is based on the one which explains the data in descriptive manner. It mainly deals with quality than quantity sometimes known as descriptive research.

–   This type of research includes surveys and facts finding through inquiries of different kind. The major purpose of descriptive research is to describe the state of affair as it exist at present

5.  Analytical research

This is the type at research which use facts or information already available and analyze them to make a critical evaluation of material.

This kind of research consists of system of mathematical models or statistical techniques applicable to numerical data. The study in this research aims at testing hypothesis, specifying and interpreting relationships

6.  Conceptual research

Is the type of research that related with abstract ideas or theory

–   It is most applicable on invisible world

–  Concern with phenomena that can not be seen, touched, heard e.g moral ,behavior, traditional believes

7.  Empirical research

Is the type of research that depends on the experience or it is data based and capable at be verified by observation, measurement and experiment

–  It is based on the world appearance/visible world

Characteristics of research

a.       Goal oriented

b.      Systematic

c.       Logical

d.      Imperial

e.      Inquisitive

f.        Selective

g.       Objective

h.      Replicable


(a)  Goal oriented

Purposeful for the solving of particular problem e.g. Doctor with patient

(b)   Systematic

It is the scientific in nature based of regular plan, procedure, rules, fixed method of conducting it. It have structure with specific stapes to be taken in sequence for instance

–   Collection

–   Analyze

–   Interpretation

( c )Logical

Based on premises (incidences) and conclusion. It is guided by the rules of logical reason and logical process, which are of great values in carrying out research

–  In fact logical reasoning makes research more meaningful in the context of decision making

(d) empirical

It means the conduction or bear evidences of factual that can be verified. Without evidence conclusion can not be made and if made it will be just an    opinion

Means it is investigative in nature based on how and why.

(f) Selective

A researcher normally focuses on only one problem ( phenomena) rather than general or several research problem ( specification)

(g) objectivity

A researcher must be impartial standing point and been free from a personal interest, influence in conducting research ( avoiding personal interest)

(h) Replicable

To allow the research finding to be verified by replicating the study so as to make strong base for decision- making



The main purpose of research is to discover answers to different questions through application of scientific procedure, though each research study has its own specific purpose. The general objective are

  1.        To develop theories, principles to explain various issues or matters
  2.        To gain new knowledge to be added to the existing one
  3.        To solve different social, political and economic problems
  4.        To fill gaps develop or raised by other researchers
  5.        To discover answers to different disturbing questions
  6.        To evaluate success or failure of different projects as the case of environmental project etc
  7.        To determine the frequency with which something occurs
  8.        To portray accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, groups or situation. This is basically a description research
  9.        To gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new sight into it

10.   To test or approve hypothesis of causal relationship between phenomena(variables)


Advantage/strength/ importance/usefulness/merits of field research

i. To look for accurate  solution to existing problems

ii. to find answers to existing question e.g what is the reason for failure at form IV’s

iii. It help to generate new ideas to verify the existing ones

iv. Research helps the consumers of it(e.g policy makers) to evaluate themselves and take rational decision

v. It enable society to make intelligent decision concerning problems facing them in particular life at different times

vi. The methodology of research conduction is helpful in various fields such as government and community social works and business administrative at large

vii. It is useful to one who is preparing for a carrier or further studies


Disadvantage/weakness/limitation/demerits of fields research

  1. A researcher is to have studied a wide a range of literature and technique before conducting a research.This means it needs skilled people
  2.  In concentrating on a single problem a researcher may loose sight on broad issues
  3. Research is expensive, a lot of money is needed to make a research work. Eg money for food, shelter, accommodation, stationary etc
  4. Large amount of data may appear unnecessary and even confusion if the researcher is not scientifically inclined
  5.   Time consuming .



 Research is a scientific process carried out systematically to acquire knowledge of the universe or population through stated objectives, whatever may be the type of research work and studies, one thing is that they all meet common grounds of scientific method employed by them.

Research should not be based on Arbitrary methods ( lack of scientific attitude in that, illogical, subjective, uninformed e.t.c )
Scientific research satisfies the following criteria or qualities:-

 I.  Research must be cumulative

Research is built over what has already been done before on the problem under investigation where new knowledge is discovered and added to the existing one

 II. Research must be cyclic

This is to say research go through various stages include

1.       Identification of problem

2.       Statement of the problem

3.       Formulation of hypothesis

4.       Collecting data

5.       Organization and tabulation of data

6.       Data analysis and interpretation

7.       Testing the hypothesis

8.       Reporting writing

9.       Recommendation and conclusion


III.  Research must be theoretical

The theory provides a conceptual model for research and in turn research contribute to theory development e.g. I.Q affects performance. In this case conclusion should be confined to those issues for which the data provide an adequate basis

IVIt must define important terms/concepts

The purpose of research should be clearly defined and common concepts used in research should be clearly defined

V.  Research should be procedural ( objectivity )

Research should be carefully planned to yield results that are as objective as possible

VI. Good research must be systematic

This means research is structured with specific steps to be taken in specific steps to be taken in specific sequence in accordance with the well- defined set of rule systematic characteristic help to reject the use of guessing and intuition

VII. A good research should be logical.

This implies that research is guided by the rules of logical reasoning and logical process, which are of great value in carrying out research

VIII.  Goal research must be replicable.

This characteristics allows a research results to  be verified by replicating the study and there by building a sound for decision. This is to say methods and procedures used are to be described carefully and clearly so that someone else can be able to reproduce it and use its design in a study.

IX. Goal research should be empirical

This implies research is related basically to one or more aspects of the real situation and deals with concrete data which base on observable evidence and research conclusion is researched from the collected data

Common problem encountered in the field /problems hindering conduct at research

  1. Transportation problem : eg roads, ( infrastructure to arrive at the study area)
  2. Financial constrain (costs):High cost, involve in hiring a vehicle. The enumerator or researcher have to work long distance from one responder to the next etc stationery, accommodation
  3. Language barrier: Language can be as constraint during the field work when some respondent may sometimes not understand the research language hence translation of the instrument into local language.
  4. Un conducive weather condition (climate factor) eg rainfall or in area like central Tanzania temperature sometimes reaches 340c it become difficult to collect data in such condition
  5. Remoteness/inaccessibility of the research site
  6. Lack of access of strictly confidential information




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