An overview of research theory, process and design

Linda Sweet, Deborah Davis

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapter in text bookpeer-review


Understanding how research works and what methods and processes it adopts is one of the first steps in becoming a knowledgeable research consumer. Research is a systematic and logical process and exists as a mechanism or tool through which knowledge is generated and tested. Generating and testing new knowledge is a vital component in the nursing and midwifery disciplines as a means to examine and evaluate practice. It is expected that initial research inquiry equips the research individual or group to make those early tentative, and then likely full-scale, attempts at actually conducting and implementing research in a variety of nursing and midwifery environments; for example, clinical, administration, teaching/learning and quality assurance disciplines. Without this initial understanding, the research journey rarely flourishes and, instead, confusion and frustration quickly set in as the research novice struggles to come to terms with the ‘language’ and instruction of research. It is recommended here then that the novice research consumer adopts a step-by-step approach to understanding research and its different approaches. This chapter offers the initial theoretical and philosophical foundations for understanding research, as well as mapping out the frameworks and processes that originate from these positions. The intention is to produce a firm foundation from which beginning consumers of research can proceed in an informed manner.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNursing and Midwifery Research: methods and appraisal for evidence-based practice
EditorsD Whitehead, C Ferguson, G LoBiondo-Wood, J Haber
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherElsevier - Mosby
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780729543408
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020


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