What is the meaning of "delimitation" in research?

Answer

Delimitation in research refers to choices that the researcher makes for the study that are under the control of the researcher, according to Baltimore County Public Schools. The researcher must rationalize these decisions in a research proposal.

Delimitations include the population of a study, variables, statistical analysis and focus of the research, states the University of Southampton. Within the research proposal, the researcher includes explanations for previous theoretical approaches not under review within the literature review. Typically, a researcher selects one methodology for a study and refers to other possible methodological approaches as delimitations. The parameters of the population must also include justification. Setting delimitations and subsequent justifications helps the researcher maintain objectivity in a study. It also helps other researchers reconstruct a study or advance future research on the same topic. Delimitations provide the scope within which researchers conclude findings and determine a study’s reliability or external validity.

Limitations are elements of a study that are not under the control of the researcher. Examples of limitations include funding and time constraints that affect methodology. Limitations decrease the validity of a study, but the research results are still applicable if the researcher discloses limitations and the integrity of the study remains.

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