Research is based on a constant questioning process. All researchers should ask questions in every research phase, what is read, the research design definition, data analysed and the way they are discussed and how their conclusions are drawn. It is generally accepted that to start scientific research, irrespectively of the area of expertise, the starting point is the drafting of one or more research questions, ordinarily known as a research problem. However, for many, starting with a research programme, the idea of formulating one is always a challenge. Some do not know where to start and question whether the question is well formulated. Given these issues, this paper aims to clarify and reinforce the importance of formulating the research problem and/or question, where to get inspiration for its compilation, what are the steps to be followed for its refinement and what is its usefulness during the research process. We also intend to recommend the use of some software packages that may assist the researcher, during questioning in other research phases, and thus maintain internal coherence throughout the research, as well as obtain an answer to the research question.


Questioning, Information and Communication Technology, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Francislê Neri de Souza is a Post-doctoral researcher in ICT applied to science education (2008), PhD in Science Education (2006), MSc in Computational Quantum Chemistry (1998), Graduate in Chemistry (1995). He is effective member of the Research Centre “Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education” - CIDTFF at the University of Aveiro where he also supervises MSc and PhD students in Science Education, ICT and is a lecturer in theses areas. He is co-author of several software packages, such as IARS®, webQDA®, ArguQuest®, FlexQuest®, and uTRACER®. He is the founder and chief editor of the Internet Latent Corpus Journal. He is consultant and author of papers, book and book chapters. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Francislê Neri de Souza at fns@ua.pt.

Dayse Cristine Dantas de Souza Brito Neri is Post-doc in education science (2008), Doctor of Educational Sciences (2006), Undergraduate Social Sciences (1989). She is a member of the Research Centre “Didactics and Technology in Teacher Training” - CIDTFF at the University of Aveiro, where she also supervises masters and doctoral students. She is the author of IARS® software and webQDA® coach. Author of papers, books and journal editor, she coordinated projects in informal caregivers of seniors and teaching innovation in targeted research projects and process development, both funded by the Portuguese Foundation (FCT). Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Dayse Neri de Souza at, dayneri@ua.pt.

António Pedro Costa holds a PhD in Education Multimedia (University of Aveiro). He is an Assistant Professor at ISLA University and ULP University at Portugal. He is a Post-doctoral student at the Research Centre “Didactics and Technology in Teacher Education” (CIDTFF) at the University of Aveiro. He is the intellectual and pedagogical responsible of Ludomedia company. He is one of the webQDA software authors/researchers. He coordinates the Ibero-American Congress on Qualitative Research (CIAIQ) and the International Symposium on Qualitative Research (ISQR) that annually gather more than 300 researchers. He is the author of more than 20 publications in international conferences and journals. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: António Pedro Costa at, pcosta@ludomedia.pt.

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