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Define a Research problem. What criteria would you advocate in selecting a problem for research?

Defining a Research Problem

A research problem is a specific issue, contradiction, or gap in existing knowledge that a researcher aims to address. It provides a clear purpose and justification for the research, guiding the study’s direction and focus. In Library and Information Science (LIS), defining a research problem involves identifying a relevant and significant question that needs to be answered or a problem that needs to be solved.

Criteria for Selecting a Research Problem

1. Relevance and Significance
The research problem should be relevant to the field of LIS and significant enough to contribute to the body of knowledge. It should address a gap in the literature or a practical issue that needs resolution. The problem must survive the “So What?” question, meaning it should have a clear impact on the field or society.

2. Feasibility
The problem should be feasible to study within the constraints of time, resources, and expertise available to the researcher. This includes access to necessary data, tools, and literature. If the problem is too broad or complex, it may need to be narrowed down to a more manageable scope.

3. Novelty
A good research problem should offer something new to the field. It should not merely replicate previous studies but rather provide new insights, perspectives, or solutions. Novelty ensures that the research adds value and advances understanding in LIS.

4. Clarity and Focus
The problem should be clearly defined and focused. Ambiguous or overly broad problems can lead to confusion and ineffective research. A well-defined problem statement helps in formulating precise research questions and hypotheses.

5. Ethical Considerations
The research problem should be ethically sound. It should not involve any practices that could harm participants or violate ethical standards. Ethical feasibility is crucial for the integrity and acceptance of the research.

6. Interest and Passion
The researcher should have a genuine interest in the problem. Passion for the topic can drive motivation and perseverance, which are essential for conducting thorough and impactful research.

Steps to Formulate a Research Problem

1. Literature Review
Conduct a comprehensive review of existing literature to identify gaps, contradictions, or unresolved questions. This helps in understanding what has already been done and where further research is needed.

2. Narrowing Down the Topic
Start with a broad area of interest and narrow it down to a specific issue. This involves asking deeper questions and focusing on particular aspects that require further investigation.

3. Formulating the Problem Statement
Write a clear and concise problem statement that outlines the issue, its context, and its significance. This statement should guide the research questions and objectives.

4. Evaluating Feasibility
Assess the feasibility of the problem by considering available resources, time constraints, and access to data. Ensure that the problem can be realistically addressed within these limitations.

5. Ensuring Ethical Soundness
Evaluate the ethical implications of the research problem. Ensure that the study design respects the rights and well-being of participants and adheres to ethical guidelines.

6. Seeking Feedback
Discuss the problem with peers, mentors, or librarians to get feedback and refine the problem statement. This can provide new perspectives and help in identifying potential challenges.

Conclusion

Selecting a research problem is a critical step in the research process. It requires careful consideration of relevance, feasibility, novelty, clarity, ethical soundness, and personal interest. By following these criteria, LIS students can choose meaningful and impactful research problems that contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their field.

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    Hello friends, my name is Hari Prasad, I am the Writer and Founder of this blog and share all the information related to Blogging, SEO, Internet, Review, WordPress, Make Money Online, News and Technology through this website.

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Hello friends, my name is Hari Prasad, I am the Writer and Founder of this blog and share all the information related to Blogging, SEO, Internet, Review, WordPress, Make Money Online, News and Technology through this website.

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