Research Process

Research Process-


Systematic search for knowledge through method of study, observation, comparison & experiment.

Research process-

Series of various actions, which are necessary to effective research work.

Stage of the Research Process-

  • Selecting the research topic
  • Define the decision problem or opportunity
  • Specify the research objectives
  • Develop a research design
  • Specify the information required.
  • Design the method of collecting information.
  • Design the questionnaire 
  • Manage and implement the data collection
  • Analyze and interpret the results.
  • Write a Final research report

Sources of research problem-

In humanities most of the research revolves

 4 Ps-

  • People
  • Problems
  • Programmes
  • Phenomenon
  • Theory
  • Day to day problems
  • Research studies
  • Discussion with experts
  • Innovations in technology
  • Clinical practice
  • Educational experience
  • Patient feedback
  • Professional literature
  • Performance improvement/IQ

Create an answerable question using the PICO framework-

  • P - Patient or Problem
  • I - Intervention, prognostic factor, exposure
  • C- Comparison
  • O- Outcomes

PICO Example-

  • Initial question: Is there an association between fat intake and heart failure in women?
  •  Reformulated question: In middle-aged and elderly Indian women, is fat intake associated with the risk of incident heart failure hospitalization or mortality?


  • PATIENT/PROBLEM – middle-aged and elderly Indian women
  • INTERVENTION – Fat intake
  • COMPARISON, IF ANY – no fat intake
  • OUTCOME – incident HF hospitalization or mortality

When selecting a research problem consider-

  • Interest
  • Magnitude
  • Measurement of concepts
  • Level of expertise
  • Relevance
  • Availability of data
  • Ethical issues

Steps in formulation of a research problem-


Example Review of literature-

  1. Depression among older people;
  2. The effect of exercise on mental health; and
  3. Exercise and older people

Research questions-

  •  Can weight training improve the quality of life in depressed older people?
  • What is meant by weight training?
  •  How is quality of life measured?
  • How do we define depressed older people?

Planning the study-

  • Developing the study design
  • Identifying the population/sample
  • Identify the data collection methods
  • Access and ethical issues
  • Carrying out a pilot study

Conducting the study-

  • Recruiting participants
  • Collecting data
  • Preparing the data
  • Data analysis
  • Drawing conclusions

Review of Literature-

A literature review surveys books, scholarly articles, and any other sources relevant to a particular issue, area of research, or theory, and by so doing, provides a description, summary, and critical evaluation of these works in relation to the research problem being investigated.


A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research.

A literature review should try to answer questions such as-

  • Who are the key researchers on this topic?
  • What has been the focus of the research efforts so far and what is the current status?
  • How have certain studies built on prior studies? Where are the connections? Are there new interpretations of the research?
  • Which areas have been identified as needing further research? Have any pathways been suggested?
  • Which methodologies have researchers used and which appear to be the most productive?
  • What sources of information or data were identified that might be useful to you?
  • How does your particular topic fit into the larger context of what has already been done?
  • How has the research that has already been done help frame your current investigation?

Purpose of literature Review-

  • Place each work in the context of its contribution to understanding the research problem being studied.
  • Describe the relationship of each work to the others under consideration.
  • Identify new ways to interpret prior research.
  • Reveal any gaps that exist in the literature.
  • Resolve conflicts amongst seemingly contradictory previous studies.
  • Identify areas of prior work to prevent duplication of effort.
  • Point the way in fulfilling a need for additional research.
  • Locate your own research within the context of existing literature [very important]
  1. To delimit and define his problems.
  2. To up to date the knowledge.
  3. To get an understanding of research methodology.
  4. To know about the recommendations of previous researches.
  • Orientation to what is known & not known about an area of inquiry to ascertain what research can best contribute to knowledge
  • Helps in planning the methodology of the present research study.
  • It also helps in development of research instruments.
  •  Identification of suitable design & data collection methods for a research study.

Sources of Literature Review-

  1. Primary

 Literature review mostly relies on primary sources, i.e. research reports, which are description of studies written by researchers who conducted them.

  1. Secondary

Secondary source research documents are description of studies prepared by someone other than the original researcher.

Sources of Literature Review-

  • Text books
  • Reference materials
  • Encyclopedias
  • Dictionaries
  • Bibliographies
  • Journals
  • Abstracts
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Survey
  • Newspaper and Pamphlets
  • Govt. Documents
  • Electronic Sources

Electronic sources in nursing-

  • CINHAL ((Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature)
  • MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis & Retrieved System Online)
  • Pubmed
  • Cochrane Database of System Reviews
  • ERIC
  • PsycINFO
  • Online Journals

Name of Nursing Journals-

Nursing & Midwifery Research Journal

  • Indian journal of Nursing Research & Midwifery
  • The nursing Journal of India
  • Nightingale Nursing Times
  • International Journal of Nursing Education
  • Indian Journal of Nursing Studies

Nursing Research

  • Research in Nursing & Health
  • Nursing Sciences Quarterly
  • Western Journal of Nursing Research
  • Applied Nursing Research
  • Biological Research for Nursing
  • Advances in Nursing Sciences — Clinical Nursing Research
  • Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
  • Journal of Qualitative Research

Basics consideration in RL-


Steps in Review-

  • Identifying a topic
  • Searching and finding literature
  • Evaluating literature
  • Reading literature critically
  • Analyzing literature
  • Synthesizing literature
  • Writing and presenting literature review

Way to organize studies-

1. Chronological

  • By publication date
  • By trend

2. Thematic

A structure which considers different themes

3. Methodological

 Focuses on the methods of the researcher, e.g., qualitative versus quantitative approaches

Reporting verbs-

  • Argue
  • Assert
  • Assume
  • Challenge
  • Claim
  • Contradict
  • Describe
  • Dispute
  • Emphasize
  • Establish
  • Examine
  • Find
  • Maintain
  • Note
  • Object
  • Observe
  • Prove
  • Recommend
  • Suggest
  • Support

A good literature review is-

  • Focused - The topic should be narrow. You should only present ideas and only report on studies that are closely related to topic.
  • Concise - Ideas should be presented economically. Don’t take any more space than you need to present your ideas.
  • Current - Your review should focus on work being done on the cutting edge of your topic.
  • Logical - The flow within and among paragraphs should be a smooth, logical progression from one idea to the next
  • Developed - Don’t leave the story half told.
  • Integrative - Your paper should stress how the ideas in the studies are related. Focus on the big picture. What commonality do all the studies share? How are some studies different than others?