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Research Method vs. Research Methodology — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on October 1, 2023
Research Method refers to the specific actions or techniques used to collect and analyze data, e.g., surveys. Research Methodology, however, is the overarching approach or strategy guiding those methods, including theoretical considerations.
Research Method vs. Research Methodology — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Research Method and Research Methodology


Key Differences

Research Method and Research Methodology are integral parts of academic, scientific, and business research but address different aspects of the research process. A Research Method is the specific technique or procedure used to gather, analyze, and interpret data, such as experimentation or observation. In contrast, Research Methodology is the structured approach or strategy that underpins the selection and use of particular research methods, involving considerations of the philosophical, ethical, and theoretical framework guiding the research.
A Research Method is applied to understand specific aspects of a subject and often involves empirical techniques like surveys, interviews, and case studies. It is the practical means by which data is collected. Research Methodology, however, goes beyond practical techniques to encompass the reasoning and philosophy behind the choice of methods, addressing questions related to the reliability, validity, and suitability of the chosen methods for answering the research questions.
While Research Methods can be quantitative, qualitative, or mixed, depending on the nature of the data and the research question, Research Methodology is concerned with the justification for using a particular method or a combination of methods. It involves reflecting on the appropriateness of the methods in relation to the research objectives and ensuring that the research is conducted ethically and rigorously.
The application of a suitable Research Method is crucial for obtaining reliable and valid results. It serves as a tool to systematically collect data and draw conclusions. Conversely, Research Methodology acts as the blueprint for the research, outlining the overall approach and providing a rationale for the selection and implementation of specific methods, ensuring the research is coherent, consistent, and logical.
In essence, Research Method focuses on the ‘how’ of research, dealing with the practical implementation of data collection techniques, while Research Methodology deals with the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of the research, providing the theoretical and philosophical foundation that guides the selection and application of the methods.

Comparison Chart


Specific techniques for data collection
Overall strategy and rationale for research


Theoretical and philosophical


How to collect and analyze data
Why and what methods are chosen


Surveys, interviews, experimentation
Philosophical, ethical, and theoretical considerations


Tool for data collection
Blueprint for research

Compare with Definitions

Research Method

It focuses on the practical aspects of data collection.
Experimentation is a Research Method to test hypotheses under controlled conditions.

Research Methodology

Acts as the blueprint for the research.
The Research Methodology outlined the overall approach and theoretical framework of the study.

Research Method

Involves the systematic process to obtain information.
Observation is a Research Method employed to study behaviors in natural settings.

Research Methodology

Ensures the research is conducted ethically and rigorously.
Adherence to a well-structured Research Methodology is essential to maintain the integrity of the study.

Research Method

Specific technique used to gather data.
Surveys are a commonly used Research Method in social sciences.

Research Methodology

Involves considerations of the theoretical and philosophical approach.
The Research Methodology included a discussion on the philosophical underpinnings of the chosen methods.

Research Method

It can be qualitative, quantitative, or mixed.
Interviews are a qualitative Research Method used to explore participants’ perspectives.

Research Methodology

Framework guiding the selection and use of research methods.
The Research Methodology was designed to ensure the reliability and validity of the study.

Research Method

Serves as a tool to draw conclusions from data.
Case studies are a Research Method used to investigate phenomena within real-life contexts.

Research Methodology

Addresses the justification for using specific methods.
The Research Methodology provided a detailed rationale for the selection of qualitative methods.

Common Curiosities

Can a Research Method be both qualitative and quantitative?

Yes, research may employ methods that are qualitative, quantitative, or a mix of both, depending on the research questions.

Can surveys be considered a Research Method?

Yes, surveys are a common Research Method used to gather data, especially in social sciences.

Is experimentation a part of Research Method or Research Methodology?

Experimentation is a specific Research Method, whereas Research Methodology would encompass the rationale for using such a method.

What is encompassed within Research Methodology?

Research Methodology encompasses the overall approach, including theoretical, philosophical, and ethical considerations guiding the selection and use of research methods.

Does Research Methodology provide a rationale for method selection?

Yes, Research Methodology provides a rationale and justification for the selection of specific research methods.

What does Research Method specifically refer to?

Research Method refers to the specific techniques or procedures used to collect and analyze data.

Is Research Methodology concerned with practical data collection techniques?

While it guides the selection of practical techniques, Research Methodology itself is more concerned with theoretical and philosophical underpinnings of the research.

Can qualitative methods be included in Research Methodology?

Yes, Research Methodology can include, justify, and guide the implementation of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods.

Why is choosing the appropriate Research Method important?

Choosing the appropriate Research Method is crucial for obtaining reliable and valid results and addressing the research questions effectively.

Does Research Methodology deal with ethical considerations of research?

Yes, Research Methodology involves addressing ethical considerations to ensure the integrity of the research process.

Can Research Methodology change during the course of research?

While a solid methodology is established before research begins, alterations may be necessary based on emerging data and insights, maintaining rigor and consistency.

How does Research Methodology contribute to the coherence of research?

By providing a structured approach and rationale, Research Methodology ensures the research is coherent, consistent, and logically constructed.

Does Research Methodology outline the overall strategy for research?

Yes, Research Methodology acts as the blueprint, outlining the overall strategy, approach, and theoretical framework for the research.

Is the focus of Research Method on practical or theoretical aspects of research?

Research Method focuses on the practical aspects of data collection and analysis.

Is the role of Research Method as a tool for data collection?

Yes, Research Method serves as the specific tool or technique for systematic data collection and interpretation in research.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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