Research Methodology – Collection of Data: Heuristics

The technique of data collection is called as ‘Heuristics’. It is derived from the Greek word ‘Heuriskein’ which means ‘to find’. It is for the skillfulness in the collection of evidences, memory for details and self discipline in recording notes. It involves three aspects – (i) identification of places where sources are found. (ii) Identification of related sources and (iii) classification of data.

Requisites for Data Collection:

            The needed qualification for investigation is,

  1. Knowledge of events – he needs a social behavior to grasp the relevant materials
  2. Possess an aptitude for data collection, patience and curiosity.
  3. He needs to develop a skill for data collection or gain through experience. He should be able to identify the relevant data.
  4. He should possess a good memory, duplication has to be avoided to save time and labor.
  5. Faithful recording is compulsory, no deleting or adding facts, record as it is.

Bibliographic Methods:

        All librarians have a library catalogues or guides. It is arranged A to Z and again with their subordinate letters. They are printed, typed and even written usually on cards. They classified on the basis of region, author or title. The summaries or the extracts of all works were given.


    Evidences are divided into primary and secondary sources.

Primary sources – contemporary evidences, inscriptions, accounts, eyewitness, narratives, government records, non-published works

Secondary sources – All the published works based on the primary sources.

Card System/ Card File:

          For recording the evidences card system is normally followed. Scholars use 3X5 cards or 4X5 cards of different color and different material. Each category can be the basis of each chapter. The title or page number can be noted or can be noted category wise. In writing in a notebook, it becomes difficult to number and cross refers the pages. But cards can be shuffled and re-shuffled till a chapter wise continuity is attained.

It Is Important to Note:

         The name of the person who wrote, place and other bibliographic details – the title of the book, author’s name, the publisher’s name, place of publication, year of publication and page number.

Problems While Collecting Data:

  • The sources do not supply all the needed materials and the information’s.
  • All men do not leave evidences behind them.
  • Most records are frequently destroyed or not well preserved.
  • Sources may be brittle, colors fade away and reading would become difficult.
  • Neglect of sources by public and tearing of books, destroying the sculptures, painting and scribbling.