research design The strategic plan for a research project or research programme, setting out the broad outline and key features of the work to be undertaken, including the methods of data collection and analysis to be employed, and showing how the research strategy addresses the specific aims and objectives of the study, and whether the research issues are theoretical or policy-oriented. Hence also, the process of developing such a document, choosing between alternative types of study, their relative size, whether triangulation will be employed, and adjusting plans to the available resources and timetable. See also QUALITATIVE VERSUS QUANTITATIVE DEBATE.
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