The issue, Possibility of Perfect Research, raises some important questions on a research output or research process. What is research? What is the absolute basis of research? Why research is initiated? How research is conducted? How research is evaluated? What is perfection? Is perfection during research process viable? What is effective research management? What is research paper? We will make an effort to answer the aforesaid questions.
Oxford Dictionary defines research as, a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it. A research is either summary of information or evaluation of some already discovered information. Literally, research involves “searching again” the subject what others have written on it. A research is blend of information, evaluation, and innovation. Firstly, it gives information on a particular subject or matter, secondly, evaluates the earlier research or reviews relevant literature, and finally, the new work adds some innovative aspects, both practical as well as conceptual.
Man is combination of three basic realities, i.e., body, mind, and soul. Human activities are shaped by physical needs, psychological instincts, and soul urges. At physical level, an important physical need is leisure or relaxation. At psychological level, an important mental instinct is curiosity. Again, at spiritual level, an important soul urge is perfection. The multiple reasons of research are physical demand for more leisure, intellectual thrust on account of instinctual curiosity, perfectionist aspiration of soul due to ingrained urge of soul towards perfection. The very foundation of human anatomy is thus ultimate basis of research, so that research will continue forever. There is not possibility of perfect research in any discipline.
Life has two levels, individual and collective. Collective life is contractual arrangement of leaders and followers. Institutions are inevitable aspect of collective life. An institution works under the stewardship of leaders. Leaders initiate multiple programs to maintain their authority over followers or to maintain smooth sailing of institutions. A follower may change her mind towards leadership on account of static, poor, and corrupt governance. The solution to ceremonial or non-performing institutional setup is introduction of innovations, both conceptual as well as practical. Consequently, innovations are introduced from time to time. The very foundation of innovation is initiation of new and fresh research. In order to maintain the fabric of collective life, leaders (social or economic or political) initiates research from time to time. At intellectual level, the conducted research is prone towards perfection but practically it achieves only a fair output due to multiple constraints, financial and non-financial, imposed by leaders.
A research is conducted by intellectuals. Intellectuals/Scientists are creative group of a society. They receive ideas from multiple life events, now and then. The reception of idea is special psycho-social strength of intellectuals/scientists. An idea is like a seed of a plant. They think-rethink on it and assess the viability of idea. At last, they are positive towards productivity of their idea. They separate/arrange resources for idea realization. Sharing of idea with entrepreneur (social or economic or political) is an important step for resource arrangement. An idea realization activity is self-perfection of intellectual/scientist. It is noteworthy that proactive approach of an entrepreneur or society towards new ideas is vital for the materialization of intellectual creativity.
Research Evaluation is an important step for effective research management. Research Management is a professional work. Although, it is research-driven work but it is not research it is management of research efforts Generally, research is evaluated on the basis of it practical fruits rather than intellectual strength. The significant stakeholders of a research are entrepreneurs, governments, and general public. A research would be productive if it enhances profit of entrepreneur, power of government, and welfare of public. It is noteworthy that the perfectionist tendency of intellectuals/ researchers is not decisive factor for research output; it is effectiveness that determines acceptance of research. It is said that tree is recognized by fruits so the same is true about research output.
Perfection has two aspects, relative and absolute. An absolute perfection is non temporal and non spatial phenomenon, while relative perfection is temporal-spatial phenomenon. Normally, a creative work is only relatively perfect. Overtime it looses her effectiveness, people search for something anew. It has happened many times and it will happen from time to time. For example, during 19th century, scientists have become perfectionist towards their findings. They were painting only statistical picture of everything. In early decades of 20th century, Einstein, Jung, Gestalt, Keynes, Iqbal, Bergson, and Bertrand Russell broke the myth of perfectionism or micro truths. They marginalized the accepted facts and opened new vistas of research.
A research is either positive or fruitful for multiple stakeholders of research or harmful for them. The practical outcome of research and resource input of research decides the effectiveness of research management. A positive research idea of intellectuals/scientists converts into some inventions or creative work, the invention is converted into innovation by entrepreneurs, the innovation is accepted by masses or rejected by them. An accepted innovation is either temporary or permanent. A temporary outcome is obsolete, sooner or later. For example, the 19th century communication system is history in 21st century. On the other hand, democracy is permanent outcome of enlightened intellectuals of 18th/19th century. We are reaping the benefits of democracy established by Abraham Lincoln in America, by Churchill in Europe, and Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Pakistan.
A research paper is formal presentation of research. The very beginning of a research paper is introduction of focal idea of research. A researcher then reviews the relevant literature to focus her mind towards viability or significance of idea. A definite research methodology is outlined to attain better outcomes from research effort. Now, the researcher explains the findings of research, logically and forcefully. Finally, the researcher discusses the implications, both practical and conceptual, of research endeavor. A good research paper indicates some possible lines of action for further research because a perfect research is not possible on account of multiple constraints both, financial and non financial. A research essay follows the same pattern, however it is less formal.
Muhammad Ilyas Qadri
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