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CMPDLLM002 Research Methods. Lecture 1: The Nature of Research. Scope. Introduction Module aims and objectives Module structure Nature of research Definitions Research as a process Defining the research problem, Research protocol design, Undertake research,

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cmpdllm002 research methods

CMPDLLM002Research Methods

Lecture 1:The Nature of Research

  • Introduction
    • Module aims and objectives
    • Module structure
  • Nature of research
    • Definitions
    • Research as a process
      • Defining the research problem,
      • Research protocol design,
      • Undertake research,
      • Documentation and dissemination
general information
Each session will be organised as:

Lecture period with appropriate lecture notes including:

Relevant additional reading material, and references

Tutorial Work

Including open consultation on any of the assignments, etc.

Course Requirements:

One written Assignment including;

Part I: Critical Essay on a research topic (1500-2000 words) [33.33%]

Part II: Written Research Proposal (3500-5000 words) [66.67%]

Important Dates:

Assignment Part I

Handing out in Week 3 (TBA) Handing in Week 7 (TBA)

Assignment Part II

Handing out in Week 8 (TBA) Handing in Week 14 (TBA)

General Information
some useful references 1
The Essence of Computing Projects: A Students Guide, Christian W Dawson, Pearson Education, 2000.

A Guide to Scientific Writing, David Lindsay, Longman Cheshire, 1994.

The Management of a Student Research Project, Sharp & Howard, Gower 1996, Fogler & LeBlanc Prentice Hall, 1995 Barry P. Bright, 1991, University of Hull.

Some Useful References #1
some useful references 2
Strategies for Creative Problem Solving

Introduction to Research Methods in Postgraduate Theses and Dissertations,

Information Systems Research Issues, Methods and Practical Guidelines Robert Galliers (Ed), 1992, Alfred Waller Ltd.

Some Useful References #2
in this session
In This Session …
  • Introduction
    • Nature of research
      • Definitions
      • Research as a process
        • Defining the research problem, Research protocol design,
        • Undertake research, and document
    • Classifying Research
      • The field of research,
      • The purpose of research
        • To review existing knowledge, to describe some situation or problems, the construction of something novel, explanation.
      • The approach to research,
        • Theoretical, Laboratory experiment, field experiment, case-study and survey.
      • The nature of research
        • Pure basic research, Testing of existing theory,
        • description of the state-of-the-art, specific problem solution.
definitions 1
Definitions #1
  • Research is defined in []
    • “Research is often described as an active, diligent, and systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting, and revisingfacts. This intellectualinvestigation produces a greater knowledge of events, behaviors, theories, and laws and makes practical applications possible. The term research is also used to describe a entire collection of information about a particular subject, and is usually associated with the output of science and the scientific method.”
definitions 2
Definitions #2
  • Research is:
    • A process through which we question our knowledge, change and improve our understanding,
      • Set in some context,
      • Often multi-disciplinary
      • Central to the way we deal with the world.
  • Because research is so important it is essential that the researcher be fully acquainted with the methods by which research is made possible.
    • Research requires:
      • an open enquiring mind
      • a creative orientation
      • a critical, analytical approach
      • logical reasoning
      • accuracy and care
      • dedication and honesty
the nature of research
The Nature of Research
  • Research as a process
    • Defining the research problem,
    • Research protocol design,
    • Undertake research,
    • Documentation and dissemination
  • Guiding Questions for defining the research problem
    • What is the particular problem?
      • What are the symptoms?
      • Where do the industrial partners feel a pain?
      • What is it that they cannot do, or cannot do well enough, which they will, hopefully, be able to do, or do better, as a consequence of your proposed research?
guiding questions defining the research problem 1
Guiding questions: Defining the research problem #1
  • What is the generalisation of that particular problem?
    • Why are they suffering in this way? Why can't they get round their problem without your research? There may be a chain of 'becauses' until you get to a 'root cause'.
  • What is the line of attack?
    • What theories will you bring to bear? What is your ‘big idea’ as to how that underlying cause might be attacked.
    • What is your ‘angle’.
  • What is the plan?
    • How and where and when will your industrial partners contribute?
    • How will they be preparing to take the results forward after the end of the project?
guiding questions defining the research problem 2
Guiding questions:Defining the research problem #2
  • How will you change the world?
    • If your ideas prove right, how will the results be exploited so as to make a significant impact on industrial practice?
    • If exploitation requires a change in business processes,
    • how will migration to the new way of working be achieved?
research model





Real World





Research Model
types of research methods
Type of Research 

Qualitative Research

Survey Research

Action Research

Case Study Research

Quantitative Research


Measurement & Data Collection

Experimental Research

Types of Research Methods
categories of cs research
Categories of CS Research
  • Research in CS including IS and AI can be grouped as follows:
    • The study of what is possible
      • Including both mathematical and less rigorous forms of theorising.
    • The study of existing (naturally occurring)
      • Including information processing systems E.g. animals, societies, brains, minds, ....
    • Research involving creation of new
      • useful information processing systems, and research directly related to engineering applications.
    • The creation and evaluation of tools,
      • Including formalisms and techniques to support all these activities.
research process
Research Process
  • Research Process:
    • Selection of a Research Topic
      • Interest and Significance
      • Originality and Feasibility
    • The Literature Survey
      • Identifying a Topic, state-of-the-art and/or practice
        • Literature Review
    • Project Design
      • Choose research method, define detailed Research Plan
    • Planning and Management
      • Implement Research Design,
      • Undertaking the work
        • Data Collection & Analysis
    • Evaluating the results
      • Draw Conclusions
    • Writing Up the Research and reporting
    • Disseminating the results/findings
student project work structure

Doing an MSc. Project




Select a


Make a


Write up

Gather &

analyse data











Work Struct.

Student Project Work Structure

Source Ref: to be added

next session
Next Session …

Qualitative Research:

Lecture 2

tutorial topic
Tutorial 1:

Scientific Reasoning

Required Work:

Read the handout several times and write a one page summary picking out the points that seem important to you for a discussion next week.

Tutorial Topic