A board based definition of research, by Martyn Shtlleworth, states that “research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge. “ As such, any systematic approach to gather a set of data for predefined objective and thereupon using the data to approach a logical conclusion can be considered as research. The term research is derived from Roman French word of “recherche’ “meaning to “go about searching”.
According to a popular website, Wikipedia, research is usually conducted using the following steps:
- Identification of research problem
- Literature review
- Specifying the purpose of research
- Determine specific research questions
- Specification of a conceptual framework
- Choice of a methodology ( for data collection)
- Data collection
- Analyzing and interpreting the data
- Reporting and evaluating research
- Communicating the research findings and, possibly, recommendations
Foregoing steps generally represent the overall process carried out in any research. The steps, however, should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than fixed set of pre-defined steps. A researcher is thus a person who carries out, generally, the above steps to reach a conclusion. Most research begins with general statements of the problem, or rather, the purpose for engaging in the study. The literature reviews identifies flaws or gaps in knowledge in previous research, which provides justification for the study. Often, a literature review is the conducted in a given subject area before a research question may be parallel to hypothesis, which is supposition to be tested. Then researchers collect s the data to test the hypothesis. The researcher or group of the researchers, then analyze and interpret the data via a verity of methods. The methods employed by a researcher to analyze a particular set of data may include statistical analysis, computational analysis and/or modeling (of course, analyze of the data is not limited to the foregoing methods and may be devised by the researchers, as the case of may be). The results of the data analysis in confirming or failing to reject a hypothesis are then reported and evaluated
Role of research at a University is essential for the propagation of knowledge and by association, the national economy. Universities, as centers for creation of knowledge, depend upon research to sustain itself and for the subsequent use of future generations. Thus, a University cannot survive without creating and transferring knowledge. In order for knowledge to be created, research must be carried out at all times within a University setting.
At COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), focus on discovery and creation of knowledge has been the hallmark since the inception of CIIT in August 2000. With over 2500 faculty and researchers, including over 1000 faculty/ researchers with terminal degrees in their respective area of expertise, emphasis has always been on the creation of knowledge through research and thereafter, transfer of knowledge to the next generation with close researcher both national and international funding agencies and to facilitate this, the Office of Research Innovation and Commercialization (ORIC) has been working at CIIT Principal Seat since 2011. With a dedicated staff for facilitation of faculty and researchers, ORIC advises all researchers of CIIT in the best practices required by various national and international funding agencies, thus increasing the chances for CIIT researchers to win funding for their respective research. The objective behind all such endeavors is to make CIIT a true center for knowledge creation, generation and transfer to the next generation.