1. Introduction to Research

“Research is creating new knowledge”– Neil Armstrong


In this chapter you will learn about:

  • what it means to do research
  • ways of knowing and world views
  • the scientific method and how it contributes to evidence
  • where research questions come from and how do they evolve
  • reasons for doing research in healthcare settings.

Opening Scenario

Imagine that you are a third-year medical student living on campus and relying solely on the cafeteria for your meals as you do not know how to cook. An excellent opportunity to develop basic culinary skills presents itself; you enrolled in the ‘cooking basics for dummies’ class for your third-year elective subject. For your final assessment, you are required to put on your creative thinking cap, research how to make sushi on the internet and, within an allocated time of one hour, make a special type of sushi. You decide to take on the challenge by changing the filling you used in your sushi from popular choices such as salmon or chicken to kangaroo meat to give the meal an ‘Australian touch’. You did such a good job of it that you got the highest grade (high distinction) in the class. While sushi is a known and existing meal, you have added more to the knowledge base by creating a new sushi recipe. Similarly, research involves creating new ideas and knowledge. No wonder Neil Armstrong stated that “Research is creating new knowledge”.

Let’s now take you into the world of research where you need to creatively develop and apply processes (recipes) that produce new knowledge about phenomena under investigation.

Sushi is a Japanese dish made out of vinegared rice and a variety of other ingredients.




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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.