By Martyn Denscombe
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Additional info for Ground Rules for Social Research: Guidelines for Good Practice, 2nd Edition (Open Up Study Skills)
What it has done is shift the emphasis from ‘building upon’ previous research to a stance that requires the researcher to demonstrate how the current research ‘relates to’ previous research. There is now a general acceptance that research should be related to, not simply built upon, existing knowledge. The past is not ignored. Indeed, it is regarded as crucial for understanding the roots of any piece of research and ‘where it is coming from’. But rather than treating existing knowledge as a straitjacket constraining the nature and direction of any new research, it is regarded as a starting point which can be challenged and tested.
Research should not waste time and resources by looking into areas where information already exists; there is no need to ‘reinvent the wheel’. Researchers should start with what is already known and then proceed to build upon this in the spirit of scientific discovery – a spirit of progress, development, addition and contribution. There is a sense of valueadded through research, forever pushing the frontiers of knowledge forward through the accumulation of more and more knowledge, using ever-refined methods and increasingly sophisticated theories.
2005) Principles of Social Research. Maidenhead: Open University Press, Chapter 3. D. E. (2005) Practical Research: Planning and Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, Chapters 2–4. White, P. (2009) Developing Research Questions. Basingstoke: Macmillan. 22 GROUND RULES FOR SOCIAL RESEARCH Checklist for PURPOSE When considering the purpose of the research you should feel confident about answering ‘yes’ to the following questions: 1 Has the purpose of the research been clearly described within the: Aims?