Caleb S.
Caleb S.

Types of Research - Different Types of Scientific Research

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Published on: Jun 2, 2020

Last updated on: Dec 25, 2022

Types of Research

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Do you know that there are several different kinds and types of research? Here, we have explained those types and the way you can use them for your research.

Research is an important part of any study. Without it, we won’t be able to find answers to even the most basic of questions. But there are different kinds of research.

This is what confuses most of the students. They do know about different types of research but could not understand the difference between them.

We are here to do it for them. In this blog, you will find explanations of different kinds of research. Read on.

What is Scientific Research?

Scientific research is a systematic way of gathering, analyzing, and summarizing data to help discover new information about the world. The goal of scientific research is to build knowledge through discovery and experimentation.

The results may be used in real-life settings by industry or for medical purposes. This information can also save researchers time by helping them avoid dead-ends in their search for answers.

Scientific research always follows the scientific method, because without following a specific method, it is not really research.

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Importance of Scientific Research

Scientific research has contributed to major discoveries and inventions that we use every day. Without it, we would not know:

  • Electromagnetic radiation (light)
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth
  • Space and stars (including black holes)
  • Satellites and the Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Your brain and nervous system
  • The universe and the Big Bang
  • Many types of medicine, including antibiotics
  • Internet and World Wide Web (www)
  • Cellular phone technology
  • Television, radio, stereos, CDs, DVDs
  • Pollution in water supplies - This is one of the major reasons why many people are getting involved in recycling. The more we can recycle, the less of a strain there will be on the environment.

Scientific research is also increasingly significant for developing health care treatments and new medicines. It has helped us to get closer to cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis.

What are the Different Types of Scientific Research?

There are several types of scientific research, each one with its own goals. The different kinds of scientific research include the following:

    • Basic Research

This is where scientists explore new areas of knowledge without having a specific purpose in mind. They are simply curious about how things work, why they exist, or what they can be used for in the future.

    • Medical Research

This type of research is intended to find out how the body works and how diseases affect the body. Researchers want to understand the reasons behind several health concerns and conditions.

To learn these things, they conduct experiments on animals (usually rats), human volunteers, and tissue cultures in a laboratory. Basic medical research is very different from clinical research in a hospital setting. It is done to develop treatments and cures for diseases.

    • Clinical Research

This type of research involves testing new drugs, surgical procedures, or other therapies on humans. The goal is to develop better ways to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure disease.

Clinical researchers learn whether or not these treatments work and if they could be made better for better results.

They collect data by conducting experiments on human volunteers (also known as participants) who agree to be treated with experimental drugs.

    • Applied Research

This type of research solves specific problems or answering questions that have been identified by people in business, industry, and government.

These concerns may involve finding a cure for a disease or developing a new drug. But applied research can also be used to create a better crop rotation system for farms, besides the other uses.

Both the basic and applied research is divided into three types.

1. Quantitative Research - This kind of research is more about calculation and gathering and analyzing numerical data. The results of quantitative research can be used for various purposes.

For example, compare and contrast, measure differences between groups, and establish statistical relationships among variables.

2. Qualitative Research - This type of research gathers and analyzes non-numerical data such as words, images, sounds, or videos. The researcher tries to describe the significance of the phenomena that he or she is studying.

3. Mixed Research - This kind of research is a combination of both qualitative and quantitative. Researchers use numbers to describe phenomena, words to add context or meaning, and other methods to gather information from the participants.

It is a mixed method that uses both qualitative and quantitative research methodology.

Other types of research are explained below.

    • Action Research

This type of scientific research can be described as a bridge between basic and applied research. The goal is to use the findings from basic research to answer research problems and other kinds of research questions.

    • Exploratory Research

This specific research is the preliminary study in a field that's new or unknown. It provides knowledge about a particular issue so that other issues can be investigated.

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Exploratory research is typically used when researchers have little information to work with and there isn't much evidence to rely on.

    • Descriptive research

The descriptive study is focused on “what” and how many of this “what” there are. As a result, it is concerned with issues like, "What precisely is this?" It's directed toward answering questions like, "What exactly is that?"

    • Explanatory research

Here are the characteristics of explanatory research.

      • It aims to understand and explain different relationships.
      • Based on the correlation, it observes and studies the relationship between different groups, individuals, and events.
    • Longitudinal Research

Longitudinal research involves data collection at various intervals over time. By collecting data over a period of time, scientists can track changes in the variables they are measuring. This is helpful in finding trends and making predictions.

    • Cross-sectional Research

A study that examines different variables - for example, age, income, and happiness - at one specific point in time. It's meant to provide scientists with information about what variables are related.

    • Meta-Analysis

In scientific research, a meta-analysis is a statistical analysis that combines the results of multiple scientific studies. It's used to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to support a hypothesis.

A meta-analysis is an important research technique because it uses the statistical power of combined data to produce results. They are usually more accurate than those found in individual studies.

Explain what impact different variables can have on sample size and how this impacts the future planning of samples/research projects.

    • Policy-oriented Research

It revolves around a central and specific topic. It's directed at answering questions like, "What should we do?" and "How can we solve this problem?"

It looks for cause-and-effect relationships between variables.

Policy-oriented research is often conducted to resolve disputes or arguments that affect a large number of people or organizations. It's usually conducted by members of the public, private organizations, and government institutions.

    • Comparative Research

In this kind of research, scientists have to compare several units of analysis. For example, they could look at both male and female students' views on a subject.

It's directed toward answering questions like, "Which is better?" In other words, it observes and studies the differences between different groups of variables.

It's particularly useful for making direct comparisons, such as the effectiveness of two different teaching methods.

Comparative research is useful in situations where something can only be used or manipulated once. Sometimes it's necessary to compare results from before and after an intervention.

    • Causal Research

It's directed toward answering questions like, "Why does this happen?" and "What caused it to happen?"

In causal research, scientists look for causal relations. In other words, they're interested in variables that influence one another. Scientists take a closer look at variables that are related or connected.

For example, in an observational study, they might look at the relationship between drinking and driving.

It's useful in situations where there are too many variables to be controlled (e.g., legalizing marijuana).

    • Theory-testing Research

It focuses on answering the questions. Theory-testing research starts with a hypothesis or an existing theory. It then tests that theory by looking for evidence to support, refute, or revise it. In other words, it aims to support a theory by looking at empirical evidence.

It's useful in situations where theories have been previously developed. For example, psychologists might look for certain behavior among humans. It could lead to the development of a new law or theory about human psychology.

    • Theory-building Research

This kind of research explains the way a theory is established and built.

Some other kinds of research include correlational research, case studies, market research, experimental research, focus groups, and other kinds of research methods.

We know that understanding the key differences between different research designs and methods is difficult. If you need help, you can contact for help.

Caleb S.


Caleb S., Literature, Marketing

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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