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The systematic analysis and organization of the rational and experimental principles and processes which must guide a scientific inquiry, or which constitute the structure of the sciences more particularly. Methodology is a generic term exemplified in the specific method of each discipline and its full significance can be understood only by analyzing the structure of each discipline. In determining that structure, one must consider

(a) the proper object of the discipline, (b) the manner in which it develops, (c) the type of statements or generalizations it involves, (d) its philosophical foundations or assumptions, and (e) its relation with other disciplines and eventually its applications. (Dict. of Philosophy) A methodology is a kind of "coaching" -- not a formula for producing a result, but a set of practices that can lead to appropriate questioning and to appropriate change. (Winograd and Flores, 1987)

A branch of the philosophy of science concerned with methods and techniques of scientific inquiry, their composition and ability to yield valid knowledge. Although "methodology" is often confused with "methods", their referents are related just as biology is related to living organisms or as sociology is related to society. The aim of methodology then is to describe and analyze not the objects or the products but the processes of scientific inquiry, to investigate the potentialities and limitations of particular techniques, to reveal their presuppositions and epistemological consequences, to suggest structural reasons for successes and failures, and to develop, test and offer generalizations about scientific procedures. (Krippendorff)
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