What is Scientific Research? Definition, Characteristics, and Process

What is Scientific Research?

Scientific research is the process of finding facts or solutions to problems systematically, experimentally, and logically. Its process always remains purposive and comprehensive.

Generally, scientific research is conducted to solve problems. It analyzes all the dimensions of the problem systematically and finds out the natural causes of the problem, collects, and interprets the data, and finds out the solutions to the problems.

It is not undertaken based on someone’s intuition, experience, and estimation, instead, it is always comprehensive and objective in nature.

According to F.N. Kerlinger – “Scientific research is a systematic, empirical, and critical investigation of propositions about the presumed relationship among the variables.”

Characteristics of Scientific Research

Scientific research is systematic and empirical research that is conducted based on evidence and logic. The following eight are its main features.


Rigorous research is defined as using a strong theoretical foundation and methodological framework. It refers to the carefulness and degree of exactness in research investigation.


With a clear goal in mind, research should begin. Research is meaningless if it is undertaken without any goals. The process of choosing a sample, gathering data, and interpreting that data are all governed by the goal of the research.

Therefore, you can prevent mistakes and reach a true conclusion if you are able to create a clear and practical target.


The result gained is considered reproducible if the same result is discovered when the investigation is done once more. Such excellence is needed for scientific research.

Our conclusions or findings are deemed untrustworthy if observations cannot be replicated. The study ought should be repeatable as a result.


It should make it possible for us to impartially and accurately categorize facts. The conclusions drawn from our data should not be based on our subjective or emotional values but rather on the facts established by actual data.

Non-data-based decisions lead the organization astray and encourage performance decline.


Researchers develop hypotheses logically in scientific research. A hypothesis is an estimation of the relationship between variables. Such a relationship is established logically.

Relationships are tested using various statistical and mathematical tools. Thus, testability is one of the important qualities of scientific research.


Precision reflects the degree of exactness of the results. The conclusion drawn from the research must be nearer to the actual result as it is based on evidence and objectivity.

Operational Definitions

The variables should be defined in such a way that they can be measured. This eliminates confusion in meaning and communication.


It speaks to the extent to which the research’s conclusions can be applied to other organizations as well. The greater the scope of applicability of the research’s answers, the more beneficial the research is to users.

For instance, there is a good probability that a researcher’s findings can be applied to a wide range of businesses if they show that stress hinders performance.

Process of Scientific Research

The process of scientific research helps to carry forward the research work and draw conclusions. The following are its main steps.

Realize A Problem

A researcher should first identify the issue that motivates their research. Changes in the environment or other factors can lead to problems. Such an issue should be recognized by a researcher and cause concern.

The processes of feeling, research, experience, and observation can all lead to realization. The researcher can sense the unease in the surroundings even though he is unable to see the issue.

Identification of Problem

After identifying the issue, the researcher should work to identify its root causes and actual form. Through information gathering and situational analysis, he should ascertain the root causes of the issue.

For instance, if sales are down, a drop in sales is the symptom, thus the researcher needs to identify the reasons why. This can be the result of a lack of motivation, inadequate direction, and inefficient sales staff.

Review of Literature

Literature review refers to the study of previous research and documents. Researchers should find out the study gap from the review of the literature. It helps to define the problem and find out the methods which are suitable to study the research problem and issues.

Hypothesis Formulation

The term “hypothesis” refers to an anticipated outcome of the¬†research. Based on prior research, an estimate has been made. In a form that can be tested, it displays the relationship between two variables.

A literature review helps researchers learn about problems and the contributing reasons for such difficulties. Researchers develop a hypothesis in light of the data from the literature review.

The procedures to be employed and the data to be gathered can be decided upon with its assistance. Systematizing the outcome and making inferences aids in understanding.

Research Design

It is a framework of research. Research works are completed based on research design. It helps to collect evidence in less time and cost. Research design depends on the objectives of the research.

It clarifies the way of collecting data, method of analysis, and base of research. Research design is prepared before initiating research. Researchers should find out appropriate research design based on the research problem.

Collection of Data

The collection of information on the basis of the research problem and objectives is called data collection. The success of research largely depends upon data collection.

Reliable data collection helps to draw a reliable conclusion. A researcher should develop questionnaires, and schedule interviews or observations for collecting data.

Data Analysis

A researcher classifies the collected data and information on the basis of their feature and nature. Classified data then are codified, tabulated, and presented in charts. Such presented data are analyzed using mathematical, statistical, financial, and accounting tools.

Most researchers use statistical tools for the analysis of data. Mean, median, mode and standard deviation are descriptive statistical tools, and t-tests, z-tests, and x2 tests are used to test the hypothesis.

The use of statistical tools depends on the research objective, research design, and nature of the data.

Interpretation and Generalization

This is the last of the scientific research process. After the analysis of data, certain conclusions can be drawn in relation to the hypothesis. Whatever conclusions are drawn, they are considered theories. Such conclusions are applied in all similar organizations which are regarded as generalizations.

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