An Overview of the Research Process

  • Philip Burnard
  • Paul Morrison


  • To identify definitions of research;

  • To identify examples of different sorts of research;

  • To outline the stages of the research process;

  • To help you plan your research project in a structured and methodical way.


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Further Readings

  1. Bell, J. (1987) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide For First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  2. Cormack, D.F.S. (ed.) (1991) The Research Process in Nursing, 2nd edn, Blackwell, Oxford, chs 1 and 2.Google Scholar
  3. Sommer, B. and Sommer, R. (1991) A Practical Guide To Behavioural Research: Tools and Techniques, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  4. Firth, H., McIntee, J., McKeown J. and Britton, P. (1986) ‘Interpersonal support amongst nurses at work’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 11, 273–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Haase, J.E. (1987) ‘Components of courage in chronically ill adolescents: A phenomenological study’, Advances in Nursing Science, 9 (2) 64–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jeffery, R. (1979) ‘Normal rubbish: deviant patients in casualty departments’, Sociology of Health and Illness, 1 (1) 90–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Akinsanya, J. (1984) ‘Learning about nursing research’, Nursing Times, 80 (16) 59–61.Google Scholar
  8. Clamp, C.G.L. (1991) Resources for Nursing Research: an annotated bibliography, Library Association Publishing, London.Google Scholar
  9. Smith, J.P. (1983) ‘Steinberg Collection of Nursing Research’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 8 (5) 357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brooking, J. (ed.) (1986) Psychiatric Nursing Research, Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, J.M. and Hockey, L. (1979) Research for Nursing: A Guide for the Enquiring Nurse, HM & M, Aylesbury.Google Scholar
  12. Fielding, P. (ed.) (1987) Research in Geriatric Nursing, Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  13. While, A. (ed.) (1986) Research in Preventive Community Nursing Care, Wiley, Chichester.Google Scholar
  14. A psychological study: Davis, B.D. (1983) ‘A repertory grid study of formal and informal aspects of student nurse training’, unpublished PhD thesis, University of London.Google Scholar
  15. A sociological study: Towell, D. (1975) Understanding Psychiatric Nursing: A sociological study of modern psychiatric practice, RCN, London.Google Scholar
  16. A biological study: Hart, J.A. (1985) ‘The urethral catheter — A review of its implication in urinary-tract infection’, International Journal of Nursing Studies, 22 (1) 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. A nursing study: Haggerty, L. (1987) ‘An analysis of senior US nursing students immediate responses to distressed patients’, Nursing Times, 23 (83) 57.Google Scholar
  18. A social psychology study: Morrison, P. (1992) Professional Caring in Practice: A psychological analysis, Avebury, Aldershot.Google Scholar
  19. A nursing education study: Burnard, P. (1991) Experiential Learning in Action, Avebury, Aldershot.Google Scholar
  20. Couchman, W. and Dawson, D. (1990) Nursing and Health-Care Research — A Practical Guide: The use and application of research for nurses and other health care Professionals, Scutari, London.Google Scholar
  21. Gilbert, N. (ed.) (1993) Researching Social Life, Sage, London.Google Scholar
  22. Hammersley, M. (ed.) (1993) Social Research: Philosophy, Politics and Practice, Sage, London.Google Scholar
  23. Leino-Kilpi, H. and Tuomaala, U. (1989) ‘Research ethics and nursing science: an empirical example’, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 14, 415–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sarter, B. (ed.) (1988) Paths to Knowledge: Innovative Research Methods for Nursing, National League for Nursing, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Philip Burnard and Paul Morrison 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Burnard
    • 1
  • Paul Morrison
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Wales College of MedicineCardiffUK

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