What is Ontology?
A formal identification of concepts and relationships between them within a specific domain of knowledge. An ontology defines a formal vocabulary for identifying such concepts and relationships. In theory an ontology allows shared understanding of the domain and thus improves communication.
What is Epistemology?
Epistemology is the study of knowledge – what it is and how it differs from opinion. Studies the basis for knowledge and how any given body of knowledge is supported by facts and assumptions. Requires that knowledge have a basis that can be justified. Attempts to identify what is truly knowledge and accurately reflects reality.
Quantitative vs Qualitative Research
Quantitative research requires that the researcher have a clear idea of what is being studied before beginning the study. Quantitative research requires a process to be defined before beginning the research and for that process to be followed while gathering and analysing data. Quantitative research involves precise, numerical data. Quantitative research attempts to be objective.
Qualitative research on the other hand does not expect the researcher to have a clear idea of what is being studied. Rather than following a fixed process the research process changes as the researcher learns more about the topic and what they actually need to research. Qualitative research does not produce facts and figures but in a complete description of the subject of research. Qualitative research is subjective.