Doctor of Philosophy
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Webster’s Third International Dictionary of the English Language defines research as “studious inquiry or examination, especially critical and exhaustive investigation or experimentation, having for its aim the discovery of new facts, and their correct interpretation, the revision of accepted conclusions, theories, or laws in the light of newly discovered facts, or practical applications of new or revised conclusions, theories, or laws.”

According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Research is a systematic inquiry into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, etc.

In the Encyclopaedia of Social Sciences, Research is defined as “the manipulation of things, concepts or symbols for the purpose of generalization to extend, correct or verify knowledge whether that knowledge aids in the construction of a theory
or in the practice of an art.”

Best and Kahn, in their book Research in Education define research “as the systematic and objective analysis and recording of controlled observations that may lead to the development of generalization, principles or theories, resulting in
prediction and possibly ultimate control of events.”
Busha in his publication Research Methods in Librarianship says that Research is “a systematic quest for knowledge that is characterized by disciplined enquiry.
Efficient and effective approach to expand knowledge is the conduct of special, planned and structured investigations.”

Cook outlines research as an honest, exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meanings or implications, with reference to a problem. He sees the word ‘Research’ as an acronym, each letter of the word, standing for a particular aspect as
given below:
R = Rational way of thinking
E = Expert and Exhaustive treatment
S = Search and solution
E = Exactness
A = Analysis
R = Relationship of facts
C = Critical observation, Careful panning, Constructive attitude and Condensed generalisation
H = Honesty and Hard working

Ranganathan describes research to represent a critical and exhaustive investigation to discover new facts, to interpret them in the light of known ideas, theories and laws, to revive the current laws and theories in the light of the newly discovered
facts to apply the conclusion to practical purpose.

The substance of all these samples of definitions of research can be broadly summed up. To restate, the substantive phrases that stand out in all these definitions of research are that research is an activity as characterized below:
An intellectual activity of a high order;
An investigation of a phenomenon, event or activity;
Aims to discover data and facts and their interpretations;
To arrive at conclusions to formulate new theories and laws or revise the already established theories and laws;
To communicate the results for peer review; and
To be accepted or rejected before adding this new knowledge to the already existing general pool of knowledge.

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