Research Limitations

All research is limited in several ways - there are:

  1. Internal or Formal limitations

    1. The materials and procedures used, leading to issues of reliability and validity

    2. The ways in which critical terms are defined

    3. The scope of the problem explored

    4. The applicability, or generalizability of any results

  2. External limitations

    1. Constraints on time, scope, and budget

    2. Limitations on travel to particular locations, such as special collections, museums, or libraries

    3. An inability to speak or read about results in other languages

    4. Changes in current situations, such as an evolving political situation beyond a certain date

These types of limitations should be acknowledged; indeed, identifying them may help you to focus your topic

For more detail on the types of limitations typically encountered in your discipline, please refer to the appropriate discipline-specific area located on this page.