In order to know the meaning of the term research protocol, it is necessary that, in the first place, we determine the etymological origin of the two words that shape it:
- Protocol derives from the Greek “protokollon”, formed by the prefix “protos” (the first) and “kollea” (tail).
- Investigation, on the other hand, comes from the Latin “investigatio”. This word, which means “action and effect of finding out”, is made up of three different parts: the prefix “in” (inward), the noun “vestigium” (trace) and the suffix “-cion” (action and effect).
Protocol of a concept with various uses. It is usually used to refer to the set of instructions or rules that, either by agreement or by tradition, allows guiding a behavior.
Research, on the other hand, is the process and the result of research (the methodical action that is carried out with the intention of increasing knowledge about something or with the aim of making a discovery).
The research protocols, therefore, are guides that detail different issues that are considered when developing a research work. Its purpose is to agree procedures common to all researchers, so as to facilitate the analysis of the results and that the conclusions of the work can be easily shared.
A research protocol, on the other hand, provides references of the work that is to be developed and establishes under what parameters the results of the project will be interpreted.
Once the research is done, another scientist can take the protocol in question and study the documentation used and the steps taken. In this way, the scientific community is able to consider the validity and quality of the research carried out. Thanks to the research protocol, on the other hand, the research work can be verified and repeated step by step.
Specifically, the structure that is considered essential that a research protocol must have is the following:
Title of the investigation and summary thereof.
- Objectives final and how the results obtained can be applied.
- Theoretical foundation.
- General and specific objectives of this research work.
- Methods of analysis of results.
We can say that this is the basic structure of any research work that is carried out. However, we can not overlook that it is also necessary to include other sections or elements such as the annexes, the schedule of activities that have been followed, the sources used and even the financing and tools that have been used to have that.
In the same way, we must not forget that it is essential that a research protocol is characterized by being complete, serious, responsible, flexible and even recyclable. And that is how it will achieve the proposed objectives.
That is, a research protocol should include a summary of the research work, the problem statement, the details of the objectives, the theoretical framework followed, the techniques that were applied and the methodology used to analyze the results, among other data.