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Research Methodology - A Step By Step Guide For...


Research Methodology: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners has been written specifically for those with no previous experience of research or research methodology. Written in a logical and accessible style and providing helpful techniques and examples, it breaks the process of designing and doing a research project into eight manageable operational steps. The book guides you through your project from beginning to end by offering practical advice on:




Research Methodology - A Step by Step Guide for...



A research methodology is the section of a research paper that explains the tools, techniques, and procedures employed during the study to gather and analyse data. This section allows readers to determine the reliability and validity of the study.


You should begin your research methodology by restating your research problem. In this section, you should also include any underlying assumptions and mention relevant variables (variables being tested in the study).


Explain the reasons and criteria using which your research approach and methods were chosen. You should even address any potential limitations or weaknesses in your methodology as this reflects that the pros and cons of each method were weighed objectively. This section of your research methodology is simply an evaluation of the methods and approaches chosen.


In this final part of your research methodology, you should cite all the sources that you used while determining your methodology. By providing evidence for your choices, you reinforce the validity of your research.


Eight steps, two pathways, one book. The Fifth Edition of the bestseller Research Methodology has reimagined, redesigned, and fully renovated how a textbook can help students achieve success in their methods course or research project.


Two pathways: With an innovative, beautiful design, regular progress checkpoints have been built into the book and its online resources. As students proceed through the 8 steps, each chapter provides regular opportunities for students to check understanding or give themselves a challenge. Each pathway then gives them the resources they need.


Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper, the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research.


  • Table of contentsHow to write a research methodology

  • Why is a methods section important?

  • Step 1: Explain your methodological approach

  • Step 2: Describe your data collection methods

  • Step 3: Describe your analysis method

  • Step 4: Evaluate and justify the methodological choices you made

  • Tips for writing a strong methodology chapter

  • Frequently asked questions about methodology



The methodology section should clearly show why your methods suit your objectives and convince the reader that you chose the best possible approach to answering your problem statement and research questions.


Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research. Developing your methodology involves studying the research methods used in your field and the theories or principles that underpin them, in order to choose the approach that best matches your objectives.


There are various approaches to conducting thematic analysis, but the most common form follows a six-step process: familiarization, coding, generating themes, reviewing themes, defining and naming themes, and writing up. Following this process can also help you avoid confirmation bias when formulating your analysis.


In a longer or more complex research project, such as a thesis or dissertation, you will probably include a methodology section, where you explain your approach to answering the research questions and cite relevant sources to support your choice of methods.


In a scientific paper, the methodology always comes after the introduction and before the results, discussion and conclusion. The same basic structure also applies to a thesis, dissertation, or research proposal.


The massive abundance of studies relating to tropical medicine and health has increased strikingly over the last few decades. In the field of tropical medicine and health, a well-conducted systematic review and meta-analysis (SR/MA) is considered a feasible solution for keeping clinicians abreast of current evidence-based medicine. Understanding of SR/MA steps is of paramount importance for its conduction. It is not easy to be done as there are obstacles that could face the researcher. To solve those hindrances, this methodology study aimed to provide a step-by-step approach mainly for beginners and junior researchers, in the field of tropical medicine and other health care fields, on how to properly conduct a SR/MA, in which all the steps here depicts our experience and expertise combined with the already well-known and accepted international guidance.


SR/MA steps include the development of research question, forming criteria, search strategy, searching databases, protocol registration, title, abstract, full-text screening, manual searching, extracting data, quality assessment, data checking, statistical analysis, double data checking, and manuscript writing.


Differing from a systematic review, unsystematic narrative review tends to be descriptive, in which the authors select frequently articles based on their point of view which leads to its poor quality. A systematic review, on the other hand, is defined as a review using a systematic method to summarize evidence on questions with a detailed and comprehensive plan of study. Furthermore, despite the increasing guidelines for effectively conducting a systematic review, we found that basic steps often start from framing question, then identifying relevant work which consists of criteria development and search for articles, appraise the quality of included studies, summarize the evidence, and interpret the results [2, 3]. However, those simple steps are not easy to be reached in reality. There are many troubles that a researcher could be struggled with which has no detailed indication.


Conducting a SR/MA in tropical medicine and health may be difficult especially for young researchers; therefore, understanding of its essential steps is crucial. It is not easy to be done as there are obstacles that could face the researcher. To solve those hindrances, we recommend a flow diagram (Fig. 1) which illustrates a detailed and step-by-step the stages for SR/MA studies. This methodology study aimed to provide a step-by-step approach mainly for beginners and junior researchers, in the field of tropical medicine and other health care fields, on how to properly and succinctly conduct a SR/MA; all the steps here depicts our experience and expertise combined with the already well known and accepted international guidance.


We searched the methods reported in published SR/MA in tropical medicine and other healthcare fields besides the published guidelines like Cochrane guidelines Higgins, 2011 #7 [4] to collect the best low-bias method for each step of SR/MA conduction steps. Furthermore, we used guidelines that we apply in studies for all SR/MA steps. We combined these methods in order to conclude and conduct a detailed flow diagram that shows the SR/MA steps how being conducted.


We recommend a preliminary search to identify relevant articles, ensure the validity of the proposed idea, avoid duplication of previously addressed questions, and assure that we have enough articles for conducting its analysis. Moreover, themes should focus on relevant and important health-care issues, consider global needs and values, reflect the current science, and be consistent with the adopted review methods. Gaining familiarity with a deep understanding of the study field through relevant videos and discussions is of paramount importance for better retrieval of results. If we ignore this step, our study could be canceled whenever we find out a similar study published before. This means we are wasting our time to deal with a problem that has been tackled for a long time.


To do this, we can start by doing a simple search in PubMed or Google Scholar with search terms Ebola AND vaccine. While doing this step, we identify a systematic review and meta-analysis of determinant factors influencing antibody response from vaccination of Ebola vaccine in non-human primate and human [7], which is a relevant paper to read to get a deeper insight and identify gaps for better formulation of our research question or purpose. We can still conduct systematic review and meta-analysis of Ebola vaccine because we evaluate safety as a different outcome and different population (only human).


According to the AMSTAR guidelines, at least two databases have to be searched in the SR/MA [8], but as you increase the number of searched databases, you get much yield and more accurate and comprehensive results. The ordering of the databases depends mostly on the review questions; being in a study of clinical trials, you will rely mostly on Cochrane, mRCTs, or International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP). Here, we propose 12 databases (PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, EMBASE, GHL, VHL, Cochrane, Google Scholar, Clinical trials.gov, mRCTs, POPLINE, and SIGLE), which help to cover almost all published articles in tropical medicine and other health-related fields. Among those databases, POPLINE focuses on reproductive health. Researchers should consider to choose relevant database according to the research topic. Some databases do not support the use of Boolean or quotation; otherwise, there are some databases that have special searching way. Therefore, we need to modify the initial search terms for each database to get appreciated results; therefore, manipulation guides for each online database searches are presented in Additional file 5: Table S2. The detailed search strategy for each database is found in Additional file 5: Table S3. The search term that we created in PubMed needs customization based on a specific characteristic of the database. An example for Google Scholar advanced search for our topic is as follows: 041b061a72


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