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Is there a difference between "research questions" and

         
 

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Asked 4 years ago

     
         
 

Is there a difference between "research questions" and "research objectives" or "research goals" in qualitative research?

 
 

I remember being told during my studies that in QR one does not ask "questions" of the data, but rather sets objectives or goals for the research. As far as I can understand, this is guided by the notion that one does not know at the outset of the research what it is he or she is to ask.

 
 

Can anyone elaborate on this? Or else refer me to a place where such a distinction is made clear?

 
     
 

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Deleted profile Added an answer

 

4 years ago

 

There is a clear distinction, at least between research questions and research goals/objectives. The latter distinction is less clear.

 

Research questions are empirical or non-empirical questions that address an extant research problem. Empirically, they can be exploratory, descriptive, explanatory, evaluative, predictive, and historical. Non-empirically they can be meta-analytic, conceptual, theoretical, or normative.

 

Research goals can represent the overarching 'purpose' of the research (to explore/to explain/to describe phenomenon X so to address gap in knowledge Y) whereas research objectives are subsets of goals, in which particular objectives have to be achieved so to achieve the overarching goal(s).

 

Inherently, interpretive and exploratory research (in the constructivist paradigm) face the philosophical difficulty of induction versus deduction, i.e. "how can I know which questions to ask if I haven't done the research?". Grounded theory is one means for addressing this anomaly, where ordinarily research questions are derived from a systematic review and analytic reading of the literature.

 

I am a proponent of the emergent and iterative principles that grounded theory espouses, namely that we can formulate initial research questions, but that these too will emerge (and likely change!) as the research progresses, e.g. through interpreting the empirical data or non-empirical phenomena. This is for example typical of more anthropological/ethnographic studies, where strictly methodological concepts of "data" and "research questions" are not as germane as in problem-based research.

 

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Is there a difference between "research questions" and

there a difference between "research questions" and Miranda J Lee Western Michigan University 4 years ago

4 years ago

The important thing is, you should not be conducting "qualitative research" if you don't already have a "research question to ask". Otherwise, why would one even collect data in the first place? The objectives of the research are the checkpoints that let you know if you are answering the question, but you still must ask the question in the first place. <In my humble opinion>

Hi,

4 years ago

To my mind no matter the research is qualitative or quantitative, the point is objectives are narrower than goals (though in many articles no special distinction is made between them) and the research question is most likely to be a guess one makes at the quality of relationship between two concepts in an interrogative sentence form. Questions can be made in both qualitative and quantitative research and it is not at all logical to elaborate that a qualitative research must not have question(s) for which the research is conducting.

Another point: the research question is different from the research goal or objective as the former methodologically

facilitates the path through which we want to gain the latter.

Mohammad

 

1 Recommendation

 
Mohammad   1 Recommendation 1 Recommendation   Felicitas Macgilchrist Georg-Eckert-Institut für

4 years ago

Interesting suggestion you were given in your studies. Is new for me. What almost every QR methods course will suggest is that QR does not "test hypotheses" on its data. You will need a research question, the difference to quantitative research is the kind of question you will ask. Where quant asks "what" and "how many", qualitative asks "how" and more explorative, open-ended kind of questions.

The best set of books on qualitative research are te Sage Handbooks of Qualitative Inquiry. Currently on fourth edition, each edition is pretty much a completely new volume. http://www.uk.sagepub.com/refbooks/Book233401 (Although be warned: these are not only qualitative researchers but post-qualitative researchers.)

qualitative researchers but post-qualitative researchers.) Deleted profile Added an answer 4 years ago There is a

Deleted profile Added an answer

4 years ago

There is a clear distinction, at least between research questions and research goals/objectives. The latter distinction is less clear.

Research questions are empirical or non-empirical questions that address an extant research problem. Empirically, they can be exploratory, descriptive, explanatory, evaluative, predictive, and historical. Non-empirically they can be meta-analytic, conceptual, theoretical, or normative.

Research goals can represent the overarching 'purpose' of the research (to explore/to explain/to describe phenomenon X so to address gap in knowledge Y) whereas research objectives are subsets of goals, in which particular objectives have to be achieved so to achieve the overarching goal(s).

Inherently, interpretive and exploratory research (in the constructivist paradigm) face the philosophical difficulty of induction versus deduction, i.e. "how can I know which questions to ask if I haven't done the research?". Grounded theory is one means for addressing this anomaly, where ordinarily research questions are derived from a systematic

https://www.researchgate.net/

ce_between_research_questions_and_research_objectives_or_research_goals_in_qualitative_research[22/06/2018

09:11:19 p.m.]

Is there a difference between "research questions" and

review and analytic reading of the literature.

I am a proponent of the emergent and iterative principles that grounded theory espouses, namely that we can

formulate initial research questions, but that these too will emerge (and likely change!) as the research progresses, e.g. through interpreting the empirical data or non-empirical phenomena. This is for example typical of more

anthropological/ethnographic studies, where strictly methodological concepts of "data" and "research questions" are not as germane as in problem-based research.

 

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4

years ago

 

I

do not believe that it is true that it is necessary to have a research question to be able to pursue qualitative

 
 

research. Or indeed quantitative research either for that matter. There are a number of issues however related to any research activity. Research can either be goal oriented or method oriented. IF it is goal oriented the selection of method comes as a consequence of the researchers effort to problematize the problem space and the intended goal. One of the big questions is then related to *what method is suitable for what I wish to achieve*? IF however the research is *not* goal oriented (e.g. *blue sky research*) then the researcher does not need a (specific) goal for their effort. Usually I such research is based on the application of some method - and then reflection over what came out of it - thus not goal oriented but instead *discovery* oriented. In simple terms one can either do research with a goal in mind and put effort into trying to figure out / discover what method is useful for that purpose. OR one can pursue the application of some method -and put effort into trying to figure out what goal was discovered as a consequence. These issues are however not limited by any particular method - any method, quantitative or qualitative can be discussed in this way.

 

To put it in yet another way: either scientific rigour is put on *what you are pursuing* and this can be used to justify the method chosen OR scientific rigour is put on the application of method and this can be used to justify what was discovered. One or the other - I am not familiar with any other approach or strategy that would be acceptable or recognized as academically valid.

 

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  1 Recommendation 1 Recommendation     Peter M. Bednar Lund University 4 years ago One

4 years ago

One more thing: it is *very* doubtful if anyone ever *collects* qualitative data. What does that even mean in the relation to the use and application of qualitative methods?

Rhoune Ochako 4 years ago

4

years ago

Research questions do inform objectives

 
 

4

years ago

do inform objectives     4 years ago Peter M. Bednar Lund University Yes I agree,

Yes I agree, I would also expect that research question is related to research objectives. This is however not always explored in research grounded in positivist philosophy. The confusion of research question with objective is not all that unusual in research using quantitative methods. However there should be no excuse for those who suggest that their research is based upon an *interpretivist* philosophy of science. The difference between research question and

https://www.researchgate.net/

ce_between_research_questions_and_research_objectives_or_research_goals_in_qualitative_research[22/06/2018

09:11:19 p.m.]

Is there a difference between "research questions" and

objective can be as simple as the difference between *what questions you ask* and *why you ask those questions".

4 years ago

Thank you all for your comments. If anyone is familiar with literature that elaborates on this topic I would be more than greatful.

3 years ago

I have an article to critique: it is a comparison between 2 frameworks. A and B.

1- The author explain the 2 frameworks.

2- After that he puts a question: why should one stick to Framework A?

3- and then he chose Framework B.

Now, I am confused about :

- Where is the Research Question / Research Objective

- The ANALYSIS : Quantitative/Qualitative, Inductive/Deductive

The ANALYSIS : Quantitative/Qualitative, Inductive/Deductive Answer Can you help by adding an answer?    

Answer

Can you help by adding an answer?

   
           
       

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What is the difference between inquiry and research? - Quora

 

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completion rates. Learn more at 4screens.net 7 Answers Joshua Mariano Answered Nov 25, 2017 An inquiry

An inquiry is a question, a request for information (or further information), or even a process set in motion to obtain a specific piece of information.

A

research is a process through which information is obtained, validated, compared

to

existing data, etc., with the purpose of either ascertaining that a hypothesis is

valid/invalid, gathering information for purposes of increasing one’s knowledge

about a subject, or even simply obtaining a reliable source of information that is capable of providing an answer/definition about a certain subject about which there

is already sufficient amount of knowledge and consensus for it be generally seen as a

defined concept.

A research may include many inquiries, in many of its different definitions. But a

research cannot be included within an inquiry, simply because that would convert the inquiry into a research, due to its broader nature.

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https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-inquiry-and-research[22/06/2018 09:20:32 p.m.]

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What is the difference between inquiry and research? - Quora

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Xeno Rasmusson , PhD in Biopsychology, Professor of Human Development, CSU East Bay Xeno Rasmusson, PhD in Biopsychology, Professor of Human Development, CSU East Bay

Research and inquiry are closely related - here is one way to think about about, inquiry is the questioning aspect, whereas research is one of the ways to find the answer. Good research is systematic, organized and rigorous approach to finding reliable answers to your questions. Intuition, logic, and relying on authority are alternatives to scientific methods aka research to find answers or create beliefs.

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knowledge! m e n t Start now at s.developereconomics.com . Ricardo Abreu , Experienced with Clinical

Ricardo Abreu, Experienced with Clinical Trials and medical R&D Contracts

I hate to give you such a frustrating answer, but this is merely a matter of semantics.

An inquiry is a question, a request for information (or further information), or even a process set in motion to obtain a specific piece of information. This very question you have asked here on Quora is an inquiry.

A

research is a process through which information is obtained, validated, compared

to

existing data, etc., with the purpose of either ascertaining that a hypothesis is

valid/invalid, gathering information for purposes of increasing one’s knowledge about a subject, or even simply obtaining a reliable source of information that is

capable of providing an answer/definition about a certain subject about which there

is already sufficient amount of knowledge and consensus for it be generally seen as a

defined concept.

A research may include many inquiries, in many of its different definitions. But a

research cannot be included within an inquiry, simply because that would convert

the inquiry into a research, due to its broader nature.

I hope this doesn’t sound too confusing, and is of at least a little bit of help, but let me know if you want something more specific, such as using those terms within a business context or any other possible variant of them.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-inquiry-and-research[22/06/2018 09:20:32 p.m.]

What is the difference between inquiry and research? - Quora

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Olfert Rahbek, Founder of wordmaps.org (2016-present)

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An inquiry may be any kind of investigation, even just asking a question:

.

be any kind of investigation, even just asking a question: . What do I do next?

What do I do next?

Research also involves using questions (and therefore includes inquiry) but not uncommonly the question is asked (once!) at the beginning and the rest of the research focuses on answering the question:

rest of the research focuses on answering the question: Is this drug effective, treating inflammation? This

Is this drug effective, treating inflammation?

This is a simple yes/no-question, but it may takes thousands of hours to answer. And sometimes the answer is: No!

Then inquiry takes over: What, then, could the drug perhaps be used for?

takes over: What, then, could the drug perhaps be used for? 1.7k Views · Answer requested

1.7k Views · Answer requested by Fendi Raleigh

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Kevin Dolgin, MSC Research, Pantheon-Sorbonne University (2011)

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-inquiry-and-research[22/06/2018 09:20:32 p.m.]

What is the difference between inquiry and research? - Quora

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assume you mean in a scientific and academic sense as opposed to a philosophical or grammatical sense and I’ll respond in kind.

I

t

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As such, in my mind, this is relatively straightforward: structure and protocol.

Inquiry means something very similar to what it means in the broader world. I am curious about something, I want to study it, to consider it, perhaps do some informal experiments and derive an hypothesis.

Research, on the other hand, has structures, rules, protocols, The more I adhere to accepted protocols, the more my research will be taken seriously, and the better chance I have of standing up to peer review and getting published in a good scientific journal.

For example, I might hear that a gluten-free diet will help control multiple sclerosis. This intrigues me and I start to check this out (effectively, research it, in a grammatical sense). This is inquiry. I can do this any way I want. I find the results compelling enough to dedicate some real time and funding to examine the hypothesis. I do a real experiment with the aim of getting published. That experiment will consist of following the fortunes of two groups of MS patients, one that will adhere to a gluten-free diet, the other who won’t.

I am then going to have to determine my research protocols, and this will be very

complicated. How do I reduce the risk of bias in the selection of my two cohorts? How do I try to mitigate the placebo effect? I’d like to use accepted double blind clinical research protocols, but this is tricky in this case. What kind of statistical methods will I use to determine significance? How do I…. the list goes on, and becomes ever more complicated. My choices and the rigor with which I carry out the research will be crucial in making its results, whether positive or negative, viable. Without protocols I might well just ask around, be swayed by a great number of people who have reduced gluten and feel better, when in reality, the effect was purely psychosomatic, or maybe those who tried and found no effect didn’t speak up, or maybe there is a fundamental difference in the patient groups, or maybe…. etc.

There is perhaps one other difference, and that is adherence to the greatest “protocol” of all - the scientific method. Fundamentally, research carried out under the scientific method does not try to “prove” anything. It tries to disprove hypotheses. In my example above, I have perhaps formed the hypothesis that gluten- free diets may indeed help control MS, so my research is going to try to disprove the hypothesis. It can not actually be proved, that’s not how science works (which is why mathematics, strictly speaking, is not science). It’s just that if enough people try to disprove an hypothesis and fail, it starts to look pretty valid. That’s a crucial but somewhat counter-intuitive point that the general public doesn’t typically understand.

We can talk about good research and bad research, whereas we don’t really talk about good inquiry or bad inquiry. I think any inquiry is good, we are a curious species, but research has standards. The press, for example, is very bad at being skeptical about scientific research, they tend to jump on exciting prospects in papers without being able to assess the quality of the protocols (“cold fusion!”, “cure for cancer!”, “faster than light travel!”… etc. ad nauseum). Likewise, any journalist who writes an article claiming “scientists prove that…” fundamentally doesn’t understand science, because he or she does not understand the scientific method.

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-inquiry-and-research[22/06/2018 09:20:32 p.m.]

What is the difference between inquiry and research? - Quora

PS Just in case you’re wondering, the best research I can find does not support the hypothesis that gluten free diets help control MS… or really have much other benefit for those not suffering from certain specific diseases. Just in case you were curious.

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Anita Palladino, CEO (2005-present)

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To me, my completely non scientific answer is that inquiry is asking a question, research digs deep for answers through other people, books, primary source materials, prior research, as well as inquiring about the subject thru live sources.

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George Williams, Research Writer (2012-present)

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The two terms are used interchangeably at times.

.

 

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What is the difference between inquiry and research? - Quora

https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-difference-between-inquiry-and-research[22/06/2018 09:20:32 p.m.]