Research brings great things, we learn from it, we discover new things, and we make life better. There are plenty of pitfalls though, and it is all too easy to see what we want to.
A common mistake made when carrying out research is to become so convinced that a theory is correct, that you only look for research that supports your theory.
This is known as confirmation bias, and can lead to important facts being dismissed.
While it may be disappointing when a theory is disproved, it is better to find the right answer. So when you are gathering and analysing your evidence, remember to look at everything.
Primary research is collected directly by the researcher, or someone employed to collect it from the source on their behalf.
Research carried out by the researcher should be fair, carefully planned, meet the requirements of the study, and must be ethical.
Primary research can produce valuable and up-to-date data, as well as leading to the discovery of new knowledge.
Secondary research involves the collecting and analysis of existing data. Significant time and resources can be put into primary research, only to find that somebody has already done the hard work. Why reinvent the wheel?
When collecting secondary data it is important to look into the source. Anyone can publish anything on the internet, and just because you find something on google that backs up your idea, does not mean that it is credible.
Peer reviewed research has been examined by people who are seen as experts in the field. To have peer validation definitely adds weight to a piece of academic research.