This article is about research methods. For software research methodology project report pdf frameworks, see Software development methodology. Methodology is the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study.
It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. Typically, it encompasses concepts such as paradigm, theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques. A methodology does not set out to provide solutions – it is, therefore, not the same as a method. Instead, a methodology offers the theoretical underpinning for understanding which method, set of methods, or best practices can be applied to specific case, for example, to calculate a specific result.
The methodology is the general research strategy that outlines the way in which research is to be undertaken and, among other things, identifies the methods to be used in it. These methods, described in the methodology, define the means or modes of data collection or, sometimes, how a specific result is to be calculated. Methodology does not define specific methods, even though much attention is given to the nature and kinds of processes to be followed in a particular procedure or to attain an objective. When proper to a study of methodology, such processes constitute a constructive generic framework, and may therefore be broken down into sub-processes, combined, or their sequence changed.