This article examines some of the most important criteria - principles, rules, guidelines - for planning and conducting scientific research. The author proposes an ideal path, which leads from the theory to the discussion of results and passes through the following four distinct albeit related steps: (1) formulation of research hypotheses, (2) identification of appropriate methods and study designs, (3) identification of strategies for data analysis, and (4) reading and interpretation of the results. Repeated references to the "internal" and "external" validity of a research plan and to the kind of results that might be expected on the basis of that plan underline the importance of a criterion of validity, an ever-present criterion in the planning, execution, and interpretation of any scientific work. This article focuses on the main criteria that regulate the choice, utilization, and evaluation of the results obtained with specific research methodologies rather than on the speficic components of such methods (e.g. the rationale for and application of specific methods and/or statistics).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery