An analysis of the foregoing definition of research will distill the following as the characteristics of a research:
- Systematic Procedure: Research is undertaken using well-structured and scientifically verifiable process. it must obey the rules of logical reasoning which has a premise from where inferences and conclusions are based. What makes research effort valid is not so much the result as to the method of arriving at such results
- Empirical: Another feature of research is that it must be based on reality not on reason or conjecture. Empiricism is an approach to knowledge acquisition based on objective recording of practical and observable experience. Its opposite is rationalism, which is based on human reason. This shift came as science began its onward break from its parent discipline philosophy.
- It is theory based: To give clarity to research process it must be located within a particular theoretical context. Theories will help clarify the relationships among variables and help the research define the direction in which data will be collected and the context of generalization.
- Objective: Research should be pursued without prejudice to social and value biases. It should be undertaken in a cold-blooded manner without recourse to emotions and sentiments. This is why research methods are rigidly followed so as to eliminate bias as much as possible.
- Replicable and transmittable: The systematic procedures used in research should be such that it can be repeated and same results obtained ceteris paribus. Research findings are such that it can be transmitted.