Computer in Research
Throughout the research process, computers are indispensable. The role of the computer becomes more vital when research is conducted on a large scale. The the computer helps the researcher throughout the different phases of the research process. There are three major phases of the research process.
Role of Computer in Theoretical Stage of Research
The Theoretical stage consists of the formulation of the research problem, literature review, theoretical framework, and formulation of hypotheses. Computers help search the literature (for review of literature) and bibliographic references stored in the World Wide Web’s electronic database. With relatively little effort,
you can use a computer to identify related references for you. Searching that
would take you days and days to do; a computer can do in a matter of minutes.
Types of Computer Searches
(i) Using the Internet for Research
When many computer networks around the world were connected via the telephone system, the Internet was formed to communicate. You can say that the Internet is a network of computer networks, which spreads all across the globe. Internet research uses the Internet, especially the World Wide Web (www), for research. ”
Research is a broad term that is systematic investigation into a subject to establish facts, revise a theory, or develop a plan of action based on the facts discovered. Like all practical skills, the only natural way to learn to be a
researcher is by experience.
Here, this is used for looking anything on the web. It may includes any activity where a topic is mentioned. An effort is made to gather information to understand actively further. We distinguish between what we term primary and secondary research: the former refers to research that gathers data from participants; the latter to research that utilizes secondary information sources (such as books, journals, and newspapers).
In an Internet context, primary research is that which makes use of the Internet to give recruitment to participants, administer materials, and also collect responses. Secondary research concerns using the Internet to access information available online, from resources like library databases and online journals.
CD-ROM Searches are becoming increasingly available at university libraries. CD-ROM refers to a compact disc that plays visual information instead of music. In the case of a literature search, the information, which is stored on and played by, the CD is the contents of one or more databases
The Computer Search Process
The steps involved in conducting a computer search, be it an online search or a CD-ROM searches are very similar to those involved in a manual search, to a point
- State your problem
- Identify your keywords
- Select the database you wish to search
- Specify your search strategy
A search may be classified as narrow or broad. If a search is narrow, it is likely that all identified references will relate to your problem. If it is too narrow. You may not get enough references, or you may miss some important ones. There are three basic ways to narrow or broaden a search.
- One way is by decreasing or increasing the years searched: a search which covers the year 1990 to the present will be narrower than a search which covers 1985 to the present.
- A second way is by changing, adding, or deleting keywords or concepts. Some CD-ROM systems allow you to broaden your search by simply adding additional terms for each concept
- A third way is through the use of the and or connectors. By using various combinations of the and or connectors, you can vary your search strategy as needed. “