Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology

Research Methods vs Research Methodology

 

Although Research Methods and Research Methodology are two terms that are often confused as one and the same, they show differences between them. First let us define the two words. Research methods are the methods used for data collection in research. On the other hand research methodology explains the overarching theoretical and philosophical frameworks which guide the research. This highlights that there is a clear difference between the two, Research methodologies are the overarching frameworks that we use for research. Research methods are the techniques that we use. Different methodologies employ different methods. Through this article let us clarify the difference.

What are Research Methods?

As mentioned above, research methods are the methods used for data collection in research. Research methods involve surveys, interviews, case studies, observation, experiments, etc. It can be said that research methods are mainly used to gather information so that the researcher can find answers to his research problem.

When speaking of research methods whether it is the natural sciences or else the social sciences there is a vast range of methods that can be used. In the natural sciences, the researcher is mostly interested in gaining quantitative data that will allow him to provide specific conclusions. But in the social sciences the research methods mostly provide the researcher with quantitative data. However, this does not mean that in social sciences qualitative data is ignored. On the contrary, a combination of data can be used for social research.

Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology

What is a Research Methodology?

Research methodology explains the overarching theoretical and philosophical frameworks which guide the research. Research methodology works as a framework within which the researcher works. It is even accurate to consider it as the inception of the research. For various researches, the researcher can employ different methodologies. This will allow him to look at the research problem from different angles and use different methods, techniques and even perspectives.

Let us take an example and comprehend the difference between research methods and research methodology. A research that is being conducted on the stigmatization of HIV patients can employ a variety of research methods. They are interviews, observation and even case studies. These allow the researcher to collect data from the participants. This allows him to find answers to his research questions and overall research problem.

When paying attention to the research methodology, it refers to the broader framework that is used by the researcher to conduct the research. This will decide what types of methods the researcher use, the theoretical perspectives, etc. In this sense, the methodology works more as an overall guide to the research.

Research Methods vs Research Methodology

 What are the Difference Between Research Methods and Research Methodology?

Definitions of Research Methods and Research Methodology:

Research methods: Research methods are the methods used for data collection in a research.

Research methodology: Research methodology explains the overarching theoretical and philosophical frameworks which guide the research.

Characteristics of Research Methods and Research Methodology:

Content:

Research Methods: Research methods involve surveys, interviews, case studies, observation, experiments, etc.

Research Methodology: Research methodology involves the theoretical frameworks and learning of the various techniques that can be used in the conduct of research and the conduct of tests, experiments, surveys and critical studies.

Aim:

Research Methods: Research methods aim at finding solutions to research problems.

Research Methodology: Research methodology aims at the employment of the correct procedures to find out solutions.

Relationship:

Research Methods: Research methods are the end of any research.

Research Methodology: Research methodology is the beginning.

 

 

Image Courtesy:

1. “Survey Research Books” by User:Jtneill – Own work. [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

2. Open Book Policy (5914169915) By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (Open Book Policy  Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons