Research can be defined as the search for knowledge or as any systematic investigation to establish facts. The primary purpose for applied research as opposed to basic research is discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe.
Internet has been perhaps the most outstanding innovation in the field of communication in the history of mankind. As with every single innovation, internet has its own advantages and disadvantages. But usually, greater magnitude of advantages outweighs its disadvantages.
The word “research” is used to describe a number of similar and often overlapping activities involving a search for information. For example, each of the following activities involves such a search; but the differences are significant and worth examining.
Ten years ago, the term internet was practically anonymous to most of the people. And today internet has become the most ever powerful tool for man throughout the world. The internet is a collection of various services and resources.
Although, many people still think e-mail and World Wide Web as the principle constituents of internet, there is lot more in store than e-mail, chat rooms, celebrity web sites and search engines. It also became the best business tool of modern scenario. Today internet has brought a globe in a single room..
The Internet provides many facilities to the people. The main advantages of Internet are discussed below:
Information is probably the biggest advantage internet is offering. The Internet is a virtual treasure trove of information. Any kind of information on any topic under the sun is available on the Internet. The search engines like Google, yahoo is at your service on the Internet. You can almost find any type of data on almost any kind of subject that you are looking for. There is a huge amount of information available on the internet for just about every subject known to man, ranging from government law and services, trade fairs and conferences, market information, new ideas and technical support, the list is end less.
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Students and children are among the top users who surf the Internet for research. Today, it is almost required that students should use the Internet for research for the purpose of gathering resources. Teachers have started giving assignments that require research on the Internet. Almost every coming day, researches on medical issues become much easier to locate. Numerous web sites available on the net are offering loads of information for people to research diseases and talk to doctors online at sites such as, Americas Doctor. During 1998 over 20 million people reported going online to retrieve health information.
A second advantage is that Internet-based survey research may save time for researchers. As already noted, online surveys allow a researcher to reach thousands of people with common characteristics in a short amount of time, despite possibly being separated by great geographic distances (Bachmann & Elfrink, 1996; Garton et al., 2003; Taylor, 2000; Yun & Trumbo, 2000).
Online survey researchers can also save money by moving to an electronic medium from a paper format (Bachmann & Elfrink, 1996; Couper, 2000; Llieva et al., 2002; Yun & Trumbo, 2000). Paper surveys tend to be costly, even when using a relatively small sample and the costs of a traditional large-scale survey using mailed questionnaires can be enormous. The use of online surveys circumvents this problem by eliminating the need for paper and other costs, such as those incurred through postage, printing, and data entry (Llieva et al., 2002; Watt, 1999; Witmer et al., 1999).
Access to Unique Populations
One advantage of online survey research is that it takes advantage of the ability of the Internet to provide access to groups and individuals who would be difficult, if not impossible, to reach through other channels (Garton, Haythornthwaite, & Wellman, 1999; Wellman, 1997). In many cases, communities and groups exist only in cyberspace. For example, it would be difficult to find a large, concentrated group of people conducting face-to-face discussions of topics such as cyber-stalking, online stock trading, and the pros and cons of virtual dating. While people certainly discuss such issues among friends, family members, and co-workers, few meet face-to-face in large groups to discuss them
The foremost target of internet has always been the communication. And internet has excelled beyond the expectations .Still; innovations are going on to make it faster, more reliable. By the advent of computerââ‚¬â„¢s Internet, our earth has reduced and has attained the form of a global village.
Now we can communicate in a fraction of second with a person who is sitting in the other part of the world. Today for better communication, we can avail the facilities of e-mail; we can chat for hours with our loved ones. There are plenty messenger services in offering. With help of such services, it has become very easy to establish a kind of global friendship where you can share your thoughts, can explore other cultures of different ethnicity
Collection of Information
A lot of information of different types is stored on the web server on the Internet. It means that billions websites contain different information in the form of text and pictures. You can easily collect information on every topic of the world. For this purpose, special websites, called search engines are available on the Internet to search information of every topic of the world. The most popular search engines are altavista.com, search.com, yahoo.com, ask.com etc. The scientists, writers, engineers and many other people use these search engines to collect latest information for different purposes. Usually, the information on the Internet is free of cost. The information on the Internet is available 24 hours a day
Online Airlines and Railway Schedules
Many Airline companies and Pakistan Railway provide their schedules of flights and trains respectively on the Internet.
Ecommerce is the concept used for any type of commercial manoeuvring, or business deals that involves the transfer of information across the globe via Internet. It has become a phenomenon associated with any kind of shopping, almost anything. You name it and Ecommerce with its giant tentacles engulfing every single product and service will make you available at your door steps. It has got a real amazing and wide range of products from household needs, technology to entertainment
You can search different types of jobs all over the world, Most of the organizations/departments around the world, advertise their vacant vacancies on the Internet. The search engines are also used to search the jobs on Internet. You can apply for the required job through Internet.
Internet has many advantages but it also has some disadvantages. These are as follows:
Accuracy of Information
A lot of information about a particular topic is stored on the websites. Some of the information may be incorrect the correct information may be confused or not authentic.
Wastage of times
A lot of time is wasted to collect the information on the Internet. Some people waste a lot of time in chatting or to play games. At home and offices, most of the people use Internet without positive purpose.
Virus is nothing but a program which disrupts the normal functioning of your computer systems. Computers attached to internet are more prone to virus attacks and they can end up into crashing your whole hard disk, causing you considerable headache.
Some websites contains immoral materials in the form of text, pictures or movies etc. These websites damage the character of new generation
In conclusion, internet data collection offers many advantages, but also has some disadvantages. Researchers must carefully consider their needs in light of the challenges and benefits it can present. Even though there are arguments against theft of personal information on the use of internet for research purposes, researchers may be experiencing grave danger as personal information such as name, address, bank details can be accessed by other culprits to make problems worse.
Though, information are widely available on the internet making research less expensive in terms manpower hour used, the school of taught question the authenticity of some of the information available.
Pornography is perhaps the biggest threat related to childrens healthy mental life. Very serious situations regarding the internet. There are thousands of pornographic sites on the internet that can be easily found and can be a detrimental factor to letting children use the internet
Academics from different universities can come together to pursue the same research cost effectively, discussing on daily basis using video conferencing, virtual community etc. without moving out of their geographical locations all by the aid of internet technology.
Though, internet can also create devastation, destruction and its misuse can be calamity, I can still argue that the advantages of it outweigh its disadvantages.
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