Research methods may be understood as all those methods/techniques that are used for conduction of research. Research methods or techniques, thus, refer to the methods the researchers use in performing research operations. In other words, all those methods which are used by the researcher during the course of studying his research problem are termed as research methods. Since the object of research, particularly the applied research, it to arrive at a solution for a given problem, the available data and the unknown aspects of the problem have to be related to each other to make a solution possible. Keeping this in view, research methods can be put into the following three groups:
1. In the first group we include those methods which are concerned with the collection of data. These methods will be used where the data already available are not sufficient to arrive at the required solution;
2. The second group consists of those statistical techniques which are used for establishing relationships between the data and the unknowns;
3. The third group consists of those methods which are used to evaluate the accuracy of the results obtained.
Research methods falling in the above stated last two groups are generally taken as the analytical tools of research.