Research methods and methodology are not interchangeable terms and they are both important for a research. Some students do not know whether they are talking about one or the other and this brings confusion for the reader. Generally, methodology is a broad term while methods is specific in nature.
What you need to know…..
A research method is a tool that the researcher uses throughout the research to collect data, sort, analyze data, evaluate it, and draw conclusions. Methodology is a complete series of methods that you apply to your research to solve your research problem. We can also say that research methods are procedures or techniques while methodology is a system of methods in a research. Usually there are specific methods and methodologies that scientist use in the research to help solve their research.
The researcher explains the methodology that he/she has in used in the research. This helps the readers better understand the outcomes of the research. Therefore, methodology encompasses a complete theoretical and philosophical framework of the research. Research methods are an integral part of this theoretical framework.
There are certain methods and methodology that better cater to the needs of a specific research. For example, in social science research the researchers use interviews, observations, or questionnaire to help solve their research problems. So, these are research methods that are most commonly used in the social science research. There are some other research methods like experiments that the scientists in the physical science research use more commonly.
It is obvious that some methods better fit in specific methodologies and others in other methodologies. This also makes it necessary that the researcher uses the right methods within the chosen methodology. Subjective methods are more suitable for use in subjective methodologies while objective methods in objective methodologies. This makes it necessary that the researcher knows about various methods in research and their pros and cons.