This unit has considered the stages involved in the research process and explored some key skills for effective research. What emerges is that there is no one way of doing research, and that iteration within the research process is necessary to render results, conclusions and individual learning more robust and meaningful. Moreover, the element of individual judgment is critical to research. Researchers may not always get it right, but if the reasons for their decisions are transparent and ethical, the researcher, their stakeholders and audience can usefully learn. Lastly, research results are never an end point or the definitive truth, merely a landmark on an intellectual pathway to deeper enlightenment.

5 Critical review of research approaches