Product Information:-

  • Journals
  • Books
  • Case Studies
  • Regional information
Request a service from our experts.
Visit the JDAL journal page.

How to... conduct empirical research

Options:     Print Version - How to... conduct empirical research, part 1 Print view

What is it?

Empirical research is research that is based on observation and measurement of phenomena, as directly experienced by the researcher. The data thus gathered may be compared against a theory or hypothesis, but the results are still based on real life experience. The data gathered is all primary data, although secondary data from a literature review may form the theoretical background.

Typically, empirical research embodies the following elements:

  • A research question, which will determine research objectives.

  • A particular and planned design for the research, which will depend on the question and which will find ways of answering it with appropriate use of resources.

  • The gathering of primary data, which is then analysed.

  • A particular methodology for collecting and analysing the data, such as an experiment or survey.

  • The limitation of the data to a particular group, area or time scale, known as a sample: for example, a specific number of employees of a particular company type, or all users of a library over a given time scale. The sample should be somehow representative of a wider population.

  • The ability to recreate the study and test the results. This is known as reliability.

  • The ability to generalize from the findings to a larger sample and to other situations.