Education

Why Research Matters

Research is critical to many industries, businesses, and organizations. By understanding the why and how of research, you can improve your chances of success in any field. In its broadest sense, research is a scientific investigation into a particular phenomenon. It helps us to understand the world around us better and can be used to solve problems or develop new products and services.

There are many different types of research, but all share the same basic goal: to gather data that can be analyzed to answer questions or solve problems.

Academic Databases

There are many different types of research databases, but they all share the same basic goal: to provide access to academic papers and articles.

Academic databases are a great way to find reliable, peer-reviewed sources for your research. They usually contain a mix of both primary and secondary sources, which can be helpful in understanding a complex issue.

Most academic databases are subscription-based, but many libraries offer free access to students and faculty. Some of the most popular academic databases include JSTOR, Bentham Science, EBSCOhost, and Bentham Open.

Government Databases

Government databases are another great source of reliable information for your research. They can be a bit more difficult to navigate than academic databases, but they often contain a wealth of primary sources.

Many government agencies make their data available to the public, but it can be hard to know where to look. The best place to start is usually the agency’s website. For example, the U.S. Census Bureau has a helpful website with data on a variety of topics.

Commercial Databases

Commercial databases are produced by companies that sell access to their data. They can be useful for finding both primary and secondary sources, but it’s important to remember that they are biased in favor of the company’s products or services.

Some commercial databases, like Hoover’s and Dun & Bradstreet, are available for free with a library card. Others, like LexisNexis and Westlaw, can be expensive to access.

It’s also important to be aware of the potential for bias when using commercial databases. The company that owns the database may have a vested interest in presenting the information in a certain way.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to research, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The best approach will vary depending on your topic, your audience, and your resources. But by understanding the different types of research and their strengths and weaknesses, you can make sure you’re using the best sources for your needs.

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