Q: What is the difference between research questions and the importance of the study?
Actually, the difference between two objects or concepts is typically discussed when they seem quite similar to each other. In such cases, we look at the differences between them to know how to better distinguish one from the other.
In this case, these are not similar concepts, but they are related concepts. The research question (or questions) is related to the importance or significance of the study. So, let’s have a quick look at each concept.
A research question is a statement made in a question form seeking to study, learn, explore, or examine more about the research topic. It is aimed to distill or focus the research problem. Expressing a research problem helps provide direction to the research. For example, a research question around COVID-19 transmission could be ‘How does SARS-CoV-2 jump from animal carriers to human carriers?’ The research question typically leads to a hypothesis, a statement of a tentative solution. There can be several research questions for a study or there can be just one. This depends on the nature of the study – the kind of problem you are studying, the extent of the problem you are studying, and so on.
The importance of the study is its significance for the topic, the field, or even related fields. It talks about how the study will add information, insights, and solutions related to the topic/problem under study. In the example above, the study of the animal-to-human jump of SARS-CoV-2, for instance, may have significance for determining ways to contain the virus (and strains and similar viruses) among the carrier animal species.
Both the research question(s) and importance are explained in the Introduction section of the paper.
Hope that helps.
For more information on both concepts, you may refer to the following resources: