2.1 Research Process

As shown in Figure 2.1 below, the research process involves eight essential steps of conducting research that is required to achieve the desired goals/aims. The research process is cyclical and starts with some questions or observations and existing scientific knowledge (i.e. literature review), wherein knowledge gaps are identified and used to guide the development of a research topic 1. Next, the specific research question is formulated with the hypotheses stated, and the research design is chosen based on the question/aim. Subsequently, the study is conducted, data is collected, analysed and written up for publication or dissemination to targeted audiences.1 The final report or publication goes on to add to the existing body of knowledge, and the cycle continues.  The first three steps (questions or observations and knowledge, developing the research topic and developing the research question) will be addressed in this chapter. Additionally, detailed steps in reviewing the literature and types of reviews will be explored.


Figure 2.1 The cyclical research process by Bunmi Malau-Aduli and Faith Alele, used under a CC BY NC 4.0 licence



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An Introduction to Research Methods for Undergraduate Health Profession Students Copyright © 2023 by Faith Alele and Bunmi Malau-Aduli is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.