Research Methodology: A Guide for Researchers in Agricultural Science, Social Science and Other Related Fields

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1 Research Methodology: A Guide for Researchers in Agricultural Science, Social Science and Other Related Fields

2

3 Pradip Kumar Sahu Research Methodology: A Guide for Researchers in Agricultural Science, Social Science and Other Related Fields

4 Pradip Kumar Sahu Department of Agricultural Statistics Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya West Bengal India ISBN ISBN (ebook) DOI / Springer New Delhi Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London Library of Congress Control Number: # Springer India 2013 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. Exempted from this legal reservation are brief excerpts in connection with reviews or scholarly analysis or material supplied specifically for the purpose of being entered and executed on a computer system, for exclusive use by the purchaser of the work. Duplication of this publication or parts thereof is permitted only under the provisions of the Copyright Law of the Publisher s location, in its current version, and permission for use must always be obtained from Springer. Permissions for use may be obtained through RightsLink at the Copyright Clearance Center. Violations are liable to prosecution under the respective Copyright Law. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. While the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors nor the editors nor the publisher can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may be made. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the material contained herein. Printed on acid-free paper Springer is part of Springer Science+Business Media (

5 To My Parents

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7 Preface Starting from the initiation of the human civilization, all efforts have remained directed towards improving the quality of life. In the process, Research, the search for knowledge, is ever increasing. Huge amount of resources in different forms is being channeled for this purpose. As such, the importance of research methodology is being felt day by day to have more and more successful research program. The voyage of discovery could be more meaningful if due attention is given to the art of scientific investigation, particularly in designing and meticulous implementation of a research program. Taking all these into consideration, this book has been written in such a way so that researchers in the field of agriculture, social science, and other fields could get a guideline about the appropriate methodology to be adopted and, in the process, the methods and techniques to be used so as to have successful research program. This book contains 14 chapters altogether. The first two chapters ( Scientific Process and Research and Research Process will help the research students, teachers, and researchers in different fields to get ideas/ conception and also plan better research programs. Chapter 3 ( Research Problem ) will guide researchers in formulating a research problem under the given situations. Chapter 4 ( Research Design ) is aimed at imparting ideas of quality research to researchers so that these could be attributed to a research program. Discussions of the types of variables, their measurement, and scaling techniques have been made in Chap. 5. In Chap. 6, mainly the techniques of drawing appropriate sample have been discussed. This will help researchers working on heterogeneous population. Different types of data and their collection methodologies are discussed in Chap. 7. To interpret the data collected, processing and analysis are the most important aspects. Processing of raw data, its scrutiny, and preliminary analytical techniques have been discussed in Chap. 8. Many research programs deal with problems that involve hypothesis testing. Details of hypothesis testing techniques, both parametric and nonparametric, are discussed in Chap. 9. Analysis of variance, along with different experimental designs and their analysis, is discussed in Chap. 10. In Chap. 11, an attempt has been made to demonstrate the techniques of analysis of different genetics and breeding related problems. Multiple regression analysis, discriminant analysis, principal component analysis, cluster analysis, etc., have been taken up in Chap. 12. The vii

8 viii Preface emphasis has been on how to tackle multivariate problems with the help of computer programs and their interpretations. Instruments are nowadays an indispensible part of any research program. An attempt is made to discuss some of the instruments, precaution to be taken to use the laboratory safety measures, etc., in Chap. 13. In this chapter, the utility of a computer in statistical analysis and the misuse of statistical theories are discussed in brief. In the last chapter, formulation of project proposal, interpretation, preparation of final report, etc., are discussed. In each chapter, theories are followed by examples from applied fields, which will help the readers of this book to understand the theories and applications of specific tools. Attempts have been made to familiarize the problems with examples on each topic in a lucid manner. During the preparation of this volume, a good number of books and articles in different national and international journals, have been consulted; efforts have been made to acknowledge and provide these in the reference section. An inquisitive reader may find more material from the literature cited. To help the students, teachers and researchers in the field of agriculture and other allied fields remains the prime consideration in conceptualizing this book. Sincere efforts have been made to present the material in simplest and easy-to-understand form. Encouragements, suggestions and helps received from my teachers and my colleagues in the Department of Agricultural Statistics, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya are acknowledged sincerely. Their valuable suggestions towards improvement of the content helped a lot and are acknowledged sincerely. Dr. BK Senapati, Associate Professor, Department of Plant Breeding, and Dr Kusal Roy, Department of Agricultural Entomology, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, have extended their full support towards the improvement of several chapters of this book. The author sincerely acknowledges the help received from Dr Senapati and Dr Roy. The author is happy to acknowledge the help received from Sri Pradeep Mishra, K Padmanabhan, and Ms Piyali Guha, the research students, during the preparation of this book. Thanks are due to my two daughters, Saswati and Jayati, and their mother Swati for their full cooperation and continuous encouragement during the preparation of this manuscript. The author thankfully acknowledge the constructive suggestions received from the reviewers towards improvement of the book. Statistical packages used to demonstrate the techniques of analyzing data are also gratefully acknowledged. Thanks are also due to M/S Springer Publishers for the publication of this book and continuous monitoring, help and suggestion during this book project. Help, co-operation, encouragement received from various corners, which are not mentioned above, the author thankfully acknowledge the same. Every effort will be successful if this book is well accepted by the students, teachers, researchers, and other users whom this book is aimed at. I am confident that like the other books written by me, this book will also receive huge appreciation from the readers. Every effort has been made to avoid errors. Constructive suggestions from the readers in improving the quality of this book will be highly appreciated. Department of Agricultural Statistics Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya P.K. Sahu

9 About the Book This book is the outcome of more than 20 years of the author s experience in teaching and in research field. The wider scope and coverage of the book will help not only the students/ researchers/professionals in the field of agriculture and allied disciplines but also the researchers and practitioners in other fields. Written in a simple and lucid language, the book would appeal to all those who are meant to be benefited out of it. All efforts have been made to present research, and its meaning, intention, and usefulness. The book reflects current methodological techniques used in interdisciplinary research, as illustrated by many relevant worked out examples. Designing of research program, selection of variables, collection of data, and their analysis to interpret the data are discussed extensively. Statistical tools are complemented with real-life examples, making the otherwise complicated subject like statistics seem simpler. Attempts have been made to demonstrate how a user can solve the problems using simple a computer-oriented program. Emphasis is placed not only on solving the problems in various fields but also on drawing inferences from the problems. The importance of instruments and computers in research processes and statistical analyses along with their misuse/incorrect use is also discussed to make the user aware about the correct use of specific technique. In all chapters, theories are combined with examples, and steps are enumerated to follow the correct use of the available packages like MSEXCELL, SPSS, SPAR1, STATISTICA and SAS. Utmost care has been taken to present varied range of research problems along with their solutions in agriculture and allied fields which would be of immense use to readers. ix

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11 Contents 1 Scientific Process and Research Scientific Methods Research Research Process Steps in Research Research Problems Research Problems Steps in the Formulation of Research Problem Research Design Characteristics of a Good Research Design Types of Research Design Variables, Measurement, and Scaling Technique Variable Measurement Scaling and Its Meaning Sampling Design Errors in Sample Survey Selection of Sample (Sampling Technique) Execution of the Sampling Plan Collection of Data Methods of Collection of Primary Data Collection of Secondary Data Case Study Criteria for Selections of Appropriate Method of Data Collection Processing and Analysis of Data Processing of Information Analysis of Data Correlation Analysis Correlation Ratio Association of Attributes Regression Analysis xi

12 xii Contents 9 Formulation and Testing of Hypothesis Estimation Testing of Hypothesis Statistical Test Based on Normal Population Large Sample Test Nonparametric Tests Appendix Analysis of Variance and Experimental Designs Linear Models One-Way ANOVA Two-Way ANOVA Violation of Assumptions in ANOVA Experimental Reliability Comparison of Means Completely Randomized Design (CRD) Randomized Block Design (RBD) Latin Square Design (LSD) Missing Plot Technique Factorial Experiment Incomplete Block Design Analysis Related to Breeding Researches Analysis of Covariance Partitioning of Variance and Covariance Path Analysis Stability Analysis Sustainability Multivariate Analysis Classification of Multivariate Analysis Regression Analysis Multiple Correlation Stepwise Regression Regression vs. Causality Partial Correlation Canonical Correlation Multiple Regression Analysis and Multicollinearity Factor Analysis Discriminant Analysis Cluster Analysis Instrumentation and Computation Instruments Laboratory Safety Measures Computer, Computer Software, and Research

13 Contents xiii 14 Research Proposal and Report Writing Research Proposal Research Report Writing Suggested Readings Index

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