Much before developing a research question for a public health project , it is necessary to identify a gap in the existing literatures. A gap area is a term usually use to describe what isn’t currently known on the topic of public health . Without identifying a gap in the current understanding of a topic , it is often difficult to develop a genuine research question that will help to answer what is not known about the field.
Mistake done by candidate of public health when choosing a topic
When ever there is an opportunity to write a research proposal , students choose their topic in a hurry and without having a good knowledge about the subject area . Secondly, the topic are broad and often unmanageable in terms of research . For instance , if one is asked to do a literature review , he/she would choose a random topic “obesity “. The topic obesity is vast area to do research and hence need a narrowing of the topic . It can be obesity in children and canteen food or factors influencing obesity in a sedentary job . Importantly, narrowing down of a topic is a useful statergy to develop a good research question .
How to identify a gap in the research
First step is to think about a broad question and try to analyse why it is important and where will one get the information from ?
To find the information on a topic a knowledge of a good search statergy is essential. The search statergy involve looking in database such as MEDLINE or PubMed and analysis of the material found .
Another useful step is to find out the information already exist on the topic and understanding that what these information tell about the topic .
Finally, locate what isn’t known about the topic and develop a research question which can help to answer the unanswered domain .