The novelty requirement can be fulfilled by showing originality with respect to: data; methods and techniques; research questions; research areas; or analysis and synthesis.
Why-analysis can be used to explore the boundaries of knowledge and identify promising research problems. It helps us to penetrate layers of descriptive knowledge to a level where our understanding of a problem is finally challenged.
Since research problems often are complex it is important to break them down into subproblems that can be handled, as well as setting a realistic scope for the research.
Ishikawa diagrams allow us to summarize important relationships between an effect and its potential causes in a process or phenomenon.
Cause-and-effect tables can be used to explore how we expect a potential cause to be coupled to its effect. They are thereby useful for developing ideas for experiments.
Process diagrams are tools for visualizing steps in a process. They are useful in the formulation of research questions and the development of ideas for experiments.
Thought experiments are used for evaluating hypotheses by exploring their logical implications. If an idea leads to paradoxes it is not generally applicable and may be discarded.
The tools above are useful for generating, evaluating and ranking research hypotheses. When a clear research question has been stated the planning phase continues by identifying appropriate responses and useful factors, designing an experiment, determining factor ...
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