(By Shimeles Asfaw-GUC RPCS Office Director)

“Research is a process that attempts to discover, contextualize and validate knowledge. And this is a battle that is fought day in day out” Belay T. and Abdinasir A. (2015). On the other hand, knowledge is a creation of time and space.” What is actual is actual for only one time.And only for one place” T.S Eliot, 1930 as sighted by Belay T. and Abdinasir A.(2015). This is to mean within the same time frame, what is obtained at one corner may be lost at the other or keeping the place constant what is obtained today may be lost tomorrow. This Phenomenon shades light on the dynamic nature of knowledge. And the need to continuous engagement on research so as to cope with the dynamic world of knowledge. According to Best (1977), cited by Belay T. and Abdinasir A. (2015), characteristics of scientific research are those stated below.

  1. Research is directed towards seeking solutions for a problem. It attempts to answer a question or to determine the relationship between two or more variables. If a solution has already been given to a certain problem, then there is no need to do research on it. One needs to think about research when there are no other ways of solving a problem or answering a research question. In short, one has to make sure there is indeed a gap of knowledge inviting a research undertaking long before setting a certain research project. “Researching on the research topic”
  2. Research is more than information gathering. It is rather an intellectual exercise that is beset with the development of generalizations, principles or theories so as to predict future occurrences.
  3. Research is based on observable experience or empirical evidence.
  4. Research activity is usually characterized by carefully designed procedures and rigorous analysis.
  5. Research requires expertise. The researcher knows about the theme of the research and how to be investigated. S/he is also grounded in the theory, terminology, concepts, and the technical skills necessary to understand and analyze the data to be gathered.
  6. Research is a logical undertaking whereby attempts are made to apply every possible test to validate the procedures employed, the data collected, and the conclusions reached.
  7. Research is characterized by patience and unhurried activity. It is also challenging and, at times, frustrating that the researcher must be prepared to accept disappointments as s/he pursues the answers to difficult questions. This is mainly because research is carefully recorded and reported.
  8. Research is a diligent, meticulous, and organized activity of problem-solving. Each important term needs to be defined, limiting factors to be recognized, procedures described in detail references carefully documented results objectively recorded, and conclusions presented with scholarly cautions and restraint. The written report and accompanying data are made available to a scrutiny of associates and other scholars. It is good to be a courageous data collector but it is best to be a fearful writer.

 The above-mentioned characteristics notify that the knowledge gained by research is of the highest order. It is not based on assumptions, beliefs, and untested generalizations.