To understand what it means to take part in research, we first must understand the general research process. Researchers usually go through a specific process when they actually do research and it’s called the research process.
The Research Process
We won’t go over this process in detail. However, the general idea behind this process can be understood by breaking it down into three steps. First, a researcher has a question in mind and comes up with some explanation for what the answer may be. They then conduct some studies to see if there is evidence for, or against their explanation. Then they make some conclusions based on the studies they conducted. Check out the illustration below.
So, when someone asks us to take part in research or if we take part in research, it implies taking part in some stage of the research process described above. In other words, to take part in research implies that we will participate in some stage of the research process being conducted.
Participating in the Research Process
However, our ability to physically participate in the research process depends on the subject area. For example, a trained experimental physicist may have little use for our participation when they’re applying the research process to studying atoms. However, a sociologist applying the research process to understand how individuals behave in large groups may find our participation in their research process extremely useful! We could be the individual they test to see how we behave in large groups. Essentially, we can physically participate in the stage of the research process that includes studies involving human participants.
So, in everyday speak, when someone talks about taking part in research, they’re usually talking about taking part in research studies specifically. For the most part, this applies a specific set of subject areas, like Medicine, where you can take part in paid medical trials. Marketing, where you can take part in paid market research, such as product testing. Psychology, where you can take part in paid research studies involving focus groups. There are many examples out there and the majority of these opportunities can be accessed through our app!
To sum up, formally, to take part in research implies that we will participate in some stage of the research process being conducted. In everyday speak, when someone talks about taking part in research, they’re usually talking about taking part in research studies specifically. There’s a subtle difference here, but it’s important to acknowledge it.
So, what are you waiting for? Go take part in some fascinating research right now!