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A methodology is usually a guideline system for solving a problem, with specific components such as phases, tasks, methods, techniques and tools. It can be defined also as follows:
- "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".
Methodology as a buzzword 
In recent years, some have argued the word methodology has become a "pretentious substitute for the word method". This criticism applies to most modern use of the word methodology as evidenced by the falling use of the word method and the corresponding increase in the frequency of methodology over the past 20 years. The distinction should be made only when one is referring to the study of methods used, not the methods themselves.
Relation to paradigm and algorithm 
In theoretical work, the development of paradigms satisfies most or all of the criteria for methodology. A paradigm, like an algorithm, is a constructive framework, meaning that the so-called construction is a logical, rather than a physical, array of connected elements.
- ^ Irny, S.I. and Rose, A.A. (2005) “Designing a Strategic Information Systems Planning Methodology for Malaysian Institutes of Higher Learning (isp- ipta), Issues in Information System, Volume VI, No. 1, 2005.
- ^ a b Methodology Usage Notes, entry at Merriam–Webster
- ^ Baskerville, R. (2009). 35. "Computer and Information Security Handbook aha". Computers & Security. Morgan Kaufmann Publications (ᾘ ed.) (Elsevier Inc) (8): 605. ISBN 978-0-12-374354-1
- ^ Usage note on the word Methodology
- ^ See, for example, Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (University of Chicago, 1970, 2nd ed.)
Further reading 
- Berg, Bruce L., 2009, Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. Seventh Edition. Boston MA: Pearson Education Inc.
- Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
- Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
- Franklin, M.I. (2012). Understanding Research: Coping with the Quantitative-Qualitative Divide. London and New York: Routledge.
- Guba, E. and Lincoln, Y. (1989). Fourth Generation Evaluation. Newbury Park, California: Sage Publications.
- Herrman, C. S. (2009). “Fundamentals of Methodology”, a series of papers On the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), online.
- James, E. Alana, Slater, T. and Bucknam, A. (2011). Action Research for Business, Nonprofit, and Public Administration - A Tool for Complex Times . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Joubish, Farooq Dr. (2009). Educational Research Department of Education, Federal Urdu University, Karachi, Pakistan
- Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
- Silverman, David (Ed). (2011). Qualitative Research: Issues of Theory, Method and Practice, Third Edition. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: Sage Publications
- Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition, Unabridged, W. A. Neilson, T. A. Knott, P. W. Carhart (eds.), G. & C. Merriam Company, Springfield, MA, 1950.
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