The nature of research
Research can be described as an active, diligent, and systematic process of inquiry aimed at discovering, interpreting and revising knowledge. Research investigations aim to produce a greater understanding of events, behaviors, or theories, and to make practical applications through policies, laws and theories.
The learning projects are used to direct Wikiversity. Learning projects that have goals and objectives that are currently unattainable or that require the development of new knowledge are classified as research learning projects.
There are many theoretical and practical dimensions to research. Some are outlined on this page and briefly discussed.
Scope of research in wikiversity
See the Scope of Research Policy page at the Wikiversity multi-lingual hub.
Research is an integral part of advanced education and professional work in many fields. Wikiversity may support research education and practice in various ways, some of which may be unique or very needed in society.
Research issues to be resolved include what kind of research will be hosted on Wikiversity, whether there will be active research on Wikiversity, and, if so, how it can be managed. Please add ideas below.
In universities, different types of service offices handle various of the issues below. As Wikiversity grows, perhaps policies and networks of interested individuals might grow to facilitate research work.
The responsibility for articulating the topics here may fall with Wikiversity, a school or individual instructors. How this is so should perhaps be stated clearly for some issues.
The topics below might need to be discussed in detail on new pages.
Internal and external research
Internal research is research by Wikiversity participants for Wikiversity purposes. External research is research into various aspects of the world for presentation as general findings.
Wikimedia and Wikiversity
What is the relationship of Wikimedia sponsored research, internal research by other Wikimedia projects, and Wikiversity based research?
Suggestion: Wikiversity research is research on any matters outside Wiki projects. Alternatively, no discrimination - all is valid. --•CofE•001 12:49, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Degree of institutional review
Based partly on the internal/external distinction and partly on research ethics (regarding research on persons), program evaluation research, research exercises by students, and research for publication require different kinds of rigor in preparation, institutional review, and administration. What will the criteria be in Wikiversity for working with these different types of research?
- Main page: Research Ethics
The ethical guidelines for scientific research in the developed world are well established by governmental agencies, professional societies, universities, and journal publishers.
See overview of topic, important instructional links and what Wikiversity could offer regarding research ethics at Research Ethics.
Original research and literature review
- Main page: Original research
Wikiversity is devoted to exploration on both sides of the boundary between the known and the unknown. Original research is the use of research method in the exploration of scientific questions. Literature reviews are the study of past research findings.
For students, there is a natural progression from doing literature reviews (secondary research) to original (primary) research. Within Wikiversity, all original research should be clearly identified as such.
Different guidelines may or may not pertain to original research and literature reviews. Sometimes the boundary between primary and secondary research is not clear. A critical review of previously published ideas and data can lead to the discovery of new ideas. Policies and practices need to be developed for wikischolars to guide and assist learners in engaging in research.
Research learning projects
Wikiversity is structured around learning projects. Learning projects structured around the development of currently unavailable knowledge, techniques, methods, or devices are all appropriate for Wikiversity. Where are the research learning projects? Waiting for you to create them!
Lunar Boom Town is actively researching how Wikiversity can establish and support advanced edutainment communities that allow engineering venture teams to advance the state of space applicable technologies while helping entertain and educate each others dependents, customers, and suppliers. The basic question is whether the millions of effort hours applied to video games each year can be siphoned into productive design and possibly test efforts to reduce the overall capital requirements for space settlements. Mirwin 17:45, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Almost all fields have various theoretical aspects. The study of the theory and history of various fields may overlap with the study of various types of research methods. Ongoing education in theory needs to be integrated with education about research methods and analysis.
Research is a complex social or scientific activity, and there are a range of theoretical paradigms, methodologies, and methods to help guide the researcher. For more on this see our Introduction to research.
Tutorials in research paper writing methods for various fields and research modalities would be helpful.
A catalog of what citation guidelines and styles are in use in each field or country would also be useful, as would reviews of products like Endnote.
An outline of the nature of peer review and how to access peer review would be helpful.
See also: Wikiversity:Review board, includes some discussion of peer review.
These are useful services that Wikiversity could provide:
- Journal clubs
- Grant advice and support - What grants are available, how do I apply? Compile resources, for example:
- Matchmaking co-authors - I want to publish a paper on X, and am looking for co-authors
- Matchmaking journals - I have a paper on X, where do I publish
- Preprint review - I have a paper on X, can someone do a "dry run" peer review so that I can fix it quickly before submitting it to a journal
- Various services for Freelance Academics
- Hosting research
- Initiating research
- developing research
- Marketing research
- Strategy research
Legal and institutional issues
At some point, will Wikiversity need an Institutional Review Board?
Types of research
Philosophical, social scientific, and historical investigations of the sciences sometimes consider general differences amongst and across research areas. Some of the distinctions about research that may be made (or debated or critiqued) are:
- theoretical (pure) and empirical research
- basic and applied
- quantitative and qualitative
- objective and subjective (or inter-subjective)
- large, medium and small scale (macro, meso, and micro)
There are various differences in research methods and philosophies between various general types of subject areas, such as: Physical sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and professions (to name some general areas). [Discuss these here.]
It would be helpful if the scientific worldviews, assumptions and biases underlying general perspectives on research could be discussed in some introductory education contexts in Wikipedia.
Research conferences and networks
Wikiveristy could develop research conferences and networks in conjunction with and/or independently from Wikimedia projects. For Wikimedia examples, see meta:Wikimania and meta:Wikimedia Research Network.
Research funding and administration
It would be helpful to compile information and methods for funding and coordinating research projects.
- Research discussion forum - discuss research projects, reports, methodologies, methods, theories, etc.
- Research Portal
- Freelance Academics
- Original research
- Wikiversity scholarship
- Researching with Wikipedia
- Research for another overview of research
- Wiki Science Wikiresearch in wikibooks - Is it possible to use a wiki as a medium to do scientific research?
- UW Website Allows Researchers to Share Projects With The Public (Wired Campus, August 8, 2008)