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In order to search the literature effectively, you must construct a searchable question. This will not necessarily be the same as your research question. You may need to formulate multiple searchable questions in order to provide the necessary background for clinical research or a structured literature review. A clinical research question tests a hypothesis and finds it valid or invalid. A literature search question:
- Frames your question in specific terms
- Helps to identify the minimum searchable concepts in order to answer the question
- Allows searchers to isolate relevant literature
Literature search questions can be structured in many ways depending upon the type of question and what the searcher hopes to identify in the existing literature.
TYPES OF RESEARCH
Research Process: a general strategy for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data to answer a question.
Research Strategy Schema
- Quantitative research: involves measurement of outcomes using numerical data under standardized conditions.
- may be used all along the continuum of research
- may be obtained using formal instruments which address physical or physiological parameters or by putting subjective information into an objective numerical scale.
- Qualitative research: more concerned with a deep understanding of a phenomenon through narrative description – typically obtained under less structured conditions.
- generally applied to descriptive or exploratory research
- based on open-ended questions, interviews, and observations
Research classifications (based on objective of research):
- Basic research: done to obtain empirical data that can be used to develop, refine, or test theory.
- directed toward the acquisition of new knowledge
- typically done in laboratory – “bench research”
- Applied research: directed toward solving immediate practical problems and testing theories that direct practice
- usually carried out under actual practice conditions – “clinical research”
*Clinical research is often a hybrid of both basic and applied science.
- Translational research: application of basic scientific findings to clinically relevant issues, and simultaneously, the generation of scientific questions based on clinical dilemmas.
- taking knowledge from "bench to bedside"
The Research Question: Purpose
DEVELOPING YOUR RESEARCH QUESTION