A research gap is a question or problem not addressed previously by any researcher or existing literature within your field. Every research has its methods and approaches to conclude a dissertation or research. Research can be qualitative, quantitative, or a mixture of both. Researchers in phd choose a topic and start gathering data. There are different methods to collect and analyze the data for their study. Students often find research gaps when all the existing data and papers go outdated. A research gap exists when a new idea or concept has not been studied.
The difference between the research gap and research question is that The research issue you discovered after conducting a thorough literature review is known as a research gap. The research question is derived from a research gap. The research describes your research problem and is typically a subset of your research problem. In this article, we will explain how to identify the research gaps to get started for researchers.
Best strategies to identify a research gap
Identifying the research gaps is very important for a researcher. How devastating it would be when your dissertation findings are similar to those already published by another researcher. Therefore, it is important to point out those findings that have not been addressed. Not only would you be investing your funds and resources in the research, but it also enhances the chance of your research findings getting published. You may find different challenges in identifying a research gap. Here are some useful strategies and tips for identifying a research gap and allowing researchers to start their research.
1. Study the existing literature
Study the existing literature and articles to identify the gap in your research topic. Try to read out the most updated literature or articles. The world is changing dramatically, and the researcher must know the current changing environment. Existing literature allows you to ask questions and identify a research gap. Existing and updated literature allows you to comprehend the depth of work by a researcher in your field. When reading research articles, you must concentrate on the introduction chapter. It explains the significance of the topic and the gaps they identified to fill their research gaps.
2. Discuss the research gaps with your advisor.
You can identify the research gaps by discussing the issues and problems in your field with your advisor. It generates ideas for research, and a researcher can start investigating research. By seeking help from the advisor, help you identify your study area. You can identify the mistakes in your approach by knowing what other people think about a specific topic of study. You can discuss a question with your advisor and get their advice if you think it would be interesting to work on.
3. Use digital tools to identify the research gap
A researcher can use digital tools to identify and fill the research gaps. You must familiarize with the trending tools that use in your field of study. It will save time and ease your search in your research area. The most cited papers in a field and the evolving branches, publications, and leading contributors can be identified on websites like Essential Science Indicator. These websites can be extremely helpful in determining which topics are deemed important. Google Trends is also used to learn about the popular questions related to your study.
4. Go through the websites of influential papers
Going through influential papers’ websites will help you identify research gaps. There is often a section on the websites of well-known journals called “key concepts”, where professionals in a particular field focus on the main ideas in that area. This section gives you in-depth insights into your research and generates new ideas. You can also go through the references section of the paper to get important resources for your research. You can contact the dissertation writing services if you cannot find the websites of influential journals.
5. Make your notes
Note all your questions that come to your mind while reading any published literature. Then, research each question or query separately. You should map these questions to the source it is based on. You can also use charts, pictures, tables, or tools to keep a record. This will help you to provide broad-based knowledge to fill the research gaps.
Identifying the research gaps is important for a researcher to start his research. It will clearly describe the reasons for your study, the significance of the issue, and the issue under investigation. There are many ways to identify the research gaps, but the tips mentioned above are popular for starting research.