This article on ‘Research Methods and Research Methodology: Understanding the Difference‘ is written by Subham, an intern at Legal Upanishad.
A theory or a topic or a subject or anything in this world is developed with the help of research. A thing is first discovered and from them through research on that thing, it gets developed. The main motive of research is to dig up a subject to its core and discover new and more advanced features which were not found previously. Research is conducted with the help of various methods and procedures, depending on the circumstances and situation, and a proper plan is needed to be chalked out to conduct effective research. This article shall be discussing the difference between research methods and research methodology.
Definition of the Terms:
The terms, research methods and research methodology, are often confused by people thinking that they both are the same thing. In actuality, they are two different things denoting two different but interconnected meanings. Let us see the definition of both the terms.
- Research Method – Research is conducted with the help of different procedures. A researcher needs to undertake the appropriate methods for efficiently conducting his research. Thus, research methods are those procedures and techniques which a researcher obtains and uses to proceed with the research process and ultimately get the desired result by completing the research with the help of those methods. The different methods that a researcher undertakes to conduct his or her research are surveys, case studies, questionnaires, interviews and many other methods. These methods are classified into quantitative and qualitative methods and it is up to the researcher to choose the type of method that the researcher thinks is fit for the research. There are basically three heads under which the research methods can be divided. Firstly, the primary methods deal with the collection and description of the data. Secondly, the methods which help in analysing the data that has been already collected. Thirdly, the methods which help in evaluating the results and their accuracy.
- Research Methodology – Research methodology is the system of studying and analysing the methods that have been implemented for the conduction of the research. It is basically the blueprint of how and why the research is to be conducted. It is the science behind the conduction of the research. The main aim of this is to analyse the research methods that have been implemented and, through that, ensure that the result achieved is valid and credible. In research methodology, the researcher analyses the methods undertaken by him to understand the logic behind the undertaking of particularly those methods. It finally helps in understanding the reason behind the implementation of the methods to help in assessing the results obtained by any person including the researcher.
Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology:
As established before, the terms research method and research methodology actually mean two different things. The following are the key points of difference between the two terms:
- Research methods are procedures and techniques that are undertaken to carry on research whereas research methodology is a system of methods that helps in planning and executing the research.
- Research methods are nothing but the tools that are used to proceed with research whereas research methodology analyses the way in which the research is needed to be conducted.
- Research methods are basically implemented for conducting an experiment like surveys, interviews, etc, whereas research methodology is concerned with discovering different techniques to carry out the experiment.
- The research method’s primary main aim is to discover the problem at hand whereas research methodology helps in finding the solution for that problem.
- Research methods are applied at a later stage in the research whereas research methodology is present from the initial stages of research.
- A simple example that would help in understanding the difference between research method and research methodology is that for instance a structure is being built, the tools that are used for building are the research methods and the plan of that structure is the research methodology.
Research method and research methodology are often used synonymously but in reality, it is not accurate. Research methodology is in fact a wider term and research methods are just a part of it. It can also be said that research methodology is the genus of which research methods are a species.
- Utkarsha Bhosale, October 2021, Top Five Key Differences Between Methods and Methodology, Enago Academy, https://www.enago.com/academy/difference-methods-and-methodology/
- I Edunote, Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology, https://www.iedunote.com/difference-research-method-research-methodology
- Surbhi S, 2018, Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology, Key Differences, https://keydifferences.com/difference-between-research-method-and-research-methodology.html