Justification of an Investigation – What it is, examples

We explain what the justification for an investigation is, why it is necessary and how it is done. Also, examples on various topics.

justification of an investigation
The justification of an investigation explains its relevance.

What is the justification for an investigation?

Justification is one of the main sections of a research project, both in academic and professional fields. In her, the authors must support the importance of the study, using convincing arguments, based on real information regarding their contributions to the field of knowledge, that is, to knowledge. In methodological terms, the justification is expected to answer the question “why?”

The justification can be defined as a detailed statement of reasons, generally presented in the first sections of a research project, after the statement of the problem.

Its task is to provide relevant information on the importance and relevance of the research, that is, on the achievements that could be achieved, the specific contributions that could be made, or the innovations that exist in its particular approach. For that reason, usually goes with the background of the investigation, since the latter serve as a reference and contrast framework, bringing together what has already been said on the subject.

Normally, the justification is a relatively short and to the point section, written in the manner of an informative-argumentative text, that is, provides information and relates it to the planned investigation, to highlight its possible virtues, contributions and validity.

Why is an investigation justification necessary?

The justification is a vital section of any project, in which it is “sold”, that is, it tries to prove its worth. This can be used to obtain resources and funding for research, or simply to convince academic authorities that it is research valuable and relevant enough for the institution to grant its authors a university degree once completed.

In addition, it is a section in which researchers demonstrate how well they know their own project, how aware they are of what they can become and, therefore, of their limitations and difficulties.

How do you justify an investigation?

To justify an investigation, it is imperative to have first made the statement of the problem and to have already carried out the archiving of the antecedents of the same, that is, to have already reviewed the previous contributions in the matter, especially the projects that have had objectives Similar.

When writing the justification, it is always useful to think about it from three different perspectives, which can occur at the same time in the investigation, or some of them may be more important than the others. We refer to:

  • Theoretical justification, that is, how the research is related to the theoretical postulates of the subject. Is it capable of revolutionizing what has been thought about it until now? Is it a confirmation or demonstration of something that was not yet known with certainty? Do you add a new argument in favor of either side in a specialized discussion?
  • The practical justification, that is, how research could modify people’s real lives or what practical uses it could discover, propose or demonstrate. Would it mean a significant improvement in the quality of life of some individuals? Would it provide solutions to a long-standing problem in the region? Would you inaugurate a new field of applications, profitability or interests?
  • The methodological justification, that is, how the method used for the research constitutes a contribution in itself, regardless of its results. Would you radically change the traditional way of investigating the matter, proposing new ways or new procedures? Or would it demonstrate the ineffectiveness of those that until now are considered valid? Would you propose a method that can be applied to other fields of knowledge with great potential?

Once the value and possible contribution of the research has been understood, the justification should be drawn up in the necessary paragraphs, using examples, quotes and other information when necessary.

Examples of justification for an investigation

As an example, let’s imagine some hypothetical investigations and how they could be justified.

  • Justification of a medical research on animal viruses. This is a simple example to justify in the context of the global coronavirus pandemic of the year 2020: in light of the havoc that the disease has caused, studies on viral infections in animals take on immense importance, since they could in any case moment to be transferred back to humans (zoonosis). Thus, an investigation into Australian marsupial viruses could prevent the next pandemic or at least identify the viruses that could most easily cause it, thereby providing us with key and timely information to prevent or treat it.
  • Justification of an archaeological investigation on ancient Sumerian writing. An investigation into the first forms of writing known to mankind could be justified insofar as it tries, for example, to show that in the forms of the cuneiform spelling of the ancient Mesopotamians, there are strokes that could be compared with those of the ancient Chinese spelling , which would support the thesis of a nexus between these two millenary civilizations, so geographically distant. Such a nexus, for example, could revolutionize what is known about prehistoric human culture, and give rise to a new theory about the emergence of writing.
  • Justification of a metallurgical investigation on synthetic steels. As technical as this research may seem, it could be justified before a specialized industrial committee with the promise that, if the basic assumptions that motivate it are verified, new forms of steel could be obtained in the laboratory, at low costs and with high yields, which which would forever change the iron and carbon exploitation model, allowing to overcome mining models with a very high ecological impact, for more modern and profitable ways. Who wouldn’t invest in research like that?