gr. methodos—meta, after, hodos, a way
The systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a field of study. It comprises the theoretical analysis of the body of methods and principles associated with a branch of knowledge. Typically, it encompasses concepts such as paradigm, theoretical model, phases and quantitative or qualitative techniques.
A methodology does not set out to provide solutions – it is, therefore, not the same as a method. Instead, a methodology offers the theoretical underpinning for understanding which method, set of methods, or so-called best practices can be applied to specific case, for example, to calculate a specific result:
- methodology: how-to-
- methods: what-to use-for-the-study
- the analysis of the principles of methods, rules, and postulates employed by a discipline
- the systematic study of methods that are, can be, or have been applied within a discipline
- the study or description of methods