Research: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Olin Levi Warner, Research helping the torch of knowledge (1896). Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, Washington, D.C.

Research can be defined as the search for knowledge or any systematic investigation to establish facts. The primary purpose for applied research (as opposed to basic research) is discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe. Research can use the scientific method, but need not do so.

Scientific research relies on the application of the scientific method, a harnessing of curiosity. This research provides scientific information and theories for the explanation of the nature and the properties of the world around us. It makes practical applications possible. Scientific research is funded by public authorities, by charitable organizations and by private groups, including many companies. Scientific research can be subdivided into different classifications according to their academic and application disciplines.

Historical research is embodied in the scientific method.

The term research is also used to describe an entire collection of information about a particular subject.[citation needed]



The word research derives from the French recherche, from rechercher, to search closely where "chercher" means "to search".

Research processes

Scientific research

Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural process. Though step order may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following steps are usually part of most formal research, both basic and applied:

A common misunderstanding is that by this method a hypothesis can be proven or tested. Generally a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected. However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because researchers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true (or better, predictive), but this is not the same as it having been proven. A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it.


The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use historical sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. There are various history guidelines commonly used by historians in their work, under the headings of external criticism, internal criticism, and synthesis. This includes higher criticism and textual criticism. Though items may vary depending on the subject matter and researcher, the following concepts are usually part of most formal historical research:

Research methods

The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge, which takes three main forms (although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be fuzzy):

The research room at the New York Public Library, an example of secondary research in progress.

Research can also fall into two distinct types:

In social sciences and later in other disciplines, the following two research methods can be applied, depending on the properties of the subject matter and on the objective of the research:

Research is often conducted using the hourglass model Structure of Research[1]. The hourglass model starts with a broad spectrum for research, focusing in on the required information through the methodology of the project (like the neck of the hourglass), then expands the research in the form of discussion and results.


Academic publishing describes a system that is necessary in order for academic scholars to peer review the work and make it available for a wider audience. The 'system', which is probably disorganised enough not to merit the title, varies widely by field, and is also always changing, if often slowly. Most academic work is published in journal article or book form. In publishing, STM publishing is an abbreviation for academic publications in science, technology, and medicine.

Most established academic fields have their own journals and other outlets for publication, though many academic journals are somewhat interdisciplinary, and publish work from several distinct fields or subfields. The kinds of publications that are accepted as contributions of knowledge or research vary greatly between fields; from the print to the electronic format. Business models are different in the electronic environment. Since about the early 1990s, licensing of electronic resources, particularly journals, has been very common. Presently, a major trend, particularly with respect to scholarly journals, is open access. There are two main forms of open access: open access publishing, in which the articles or the whole journal is freely available from the time of publication, and self-archiving, where the author makes a copy of their own work freely available on the web.

Research funding

Most funding for scientific research comes from two major sources: Corporation's research and development departments; and government research councils such as the National Institutes of Health in the USA and the Medical Research Council in the UK. These are managed primarily through universities and in some cases through military contractors. Many senior researchers (such as group leaders) spend a significant amount of their time applying for grants for research funds. These grants are necessary not only for researchers to carry out their research, but also as a source of merit.

See also


  1. ^ Trochim, W.M.K, (2006). Research Methods Knowledge Base.

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity


Research is defined as human activity based on intellectual application in the investigation of matter. The primary purpose for applied research is discovering, interpreting, and the development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge on a wide variety of scientific matters of our world and the universe. Research can use the scientific method, but need not do so.

Research resources

See also

External links

Medical research

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

RESEARCH Fr. recerche, from recercher, re- and cercer, mod. chercher, to search; Late Lat. circare, to go round in a circle, to explore), the act of searching into a matter closely and carefully, inquiry directed to the discovery of truth, and in particular the trained scientific investigation of the principles and facts of any subject, based on original and first-hand study of authorities or experiment. Investigations of every kind which have been based on original sources of knowledge may be styled "research," and it may be said that without "research" no authoritative works have been written, no scientific discoveries or inventions made, no theories of any value propounded; but the word also has a somewhat restricted meaning attached to it in current usage. It is applied more particularly to the investigations of those who devote themselves to the study of pure as opposed to applied science, to the investigation of causes rather than to practical experiment; thus while every surgeon or physician who treats an individual case of cancer may add to our sum of knowledge of the disease, the body of trained investigators which is endowed by the Cancer Research Fund are working on different lines. Again, the practical engineers who are building aeroplanes, and those who are making practical tests by actual flight in those machines, cannot be called "researchers"; that term should be confined to the members, for example, of the scientific committee appointed by the British Government in 1909 to make investigations regarding aerial construction and navigation. Further, the term is particularly used of a course of post-graduate study at a university, for which many universities have provided special Research Studentships or Fellowships. These act as endowments for a specific period, and are conditional on the holder devoting his time to the investigation at first hand of some specified subject.

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Simple English

Research is the process of finding facts. These facts will lead to knowledge. Research is done by using what is already known (if any). Additional knowledge can be obtained by proving (or falsifying) existing theories and by trying to better explain observations. Research process, both analytical and experimental, should be systematic, organized and objective.[1]
Research balloon flying above the surface of Venus.


Academic research

Students do research by participating in the field or laboratory experiments, reading relevant books or internet information about a subject, taking notes and making conclusions.

Scientific research

The Scientific method is a common way of doing this kind of research which is meant to improve understanding of Biology, Engineering, Physics, Chemistry and of many other fields. As a result, scientific research makes possible to discover new medicines, to build automobiles safer, and to provide healthy food. Money for research comes from governments, private corporations, and charities.

Some basic principles of research

Any research should be:

  • Systematic: From the expression of an hypothesis or working objective, scientists gather some data according to a scheme that has been established in advance. Since the data are analyzed and interpreted, the scientists change knowledge or they add new knowledge to that already existing one, and they start at the same time a new cycle of research. The systematic approach, used in research, is of the scientific method.
  • Organized: All the members of a group of research have to know what they have to do during whole the work, to put into use the same definitions, standards and principles to all the persons that take the part in it. By achieving this state, it is completely necessary to write a protocol of research where scientists specify all the details in relation with the work.
  • Objective: The conclusions obtained from the research have to base not on the subjective impressions, but on observed and measured facts. They are interpretation which avoids every prejudice which the persons responsible for the research would have.

Basic activities at research process

  • Studying available information on the subject.
  • Physical or computer modeling.
  • Measuring the phenomena.
  • Comparing the obtained results.
  • Interpreting the results with the current knowledge, considering the variables which might have influenced the result.

Types of research

  • Basic research, also called fundamental research or pure research.
  • Applied research which is targeting an application of the new knowledge into the practice.

Classification of research per connections among disciplines

  • Multidisciplinary research: in this kind of research the evaluation is realized from different angles, using different perspectives of discipline without bringing to the integration.
  • Interdisciplinary research: this kind of research relates to the creation of an identity of methodology, of theory and of concepts, by this which the results are more coherent and integrated.
  • Transdisciplinary research: it goes more behind than the previous types and it relates to the process with a convergence among disciplines accompanied with a mutual integration.


  1. Trochim, W.M.K, (2006). Research Methods Knowledge Base.

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