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Research is the process of solving problems and finding facts in an organised way. Research is done by using what is known (if anything), and building on it. Additional knowledge can be got by proving (or falsifying) existing theories, and by trying to better explain observations. Research should be systematic, organized and objective.
Researchers take part in field or laboratory experiments, reading relevant books, journals or internet sites, taking notes and making conclusions.
The scientific method is the usual way of doing this kind of research. It is meant to improve understanding of biology, engineering, physics, chemistry and many other fields. As a result, scientific research makes it possible to understand the world, and to discover useful things.
Some basic principles of research
Any research should be:
- Systematic: from an hypothesis or working objective, scientists gather data according to a scheme set out in advance. From this scientists change ideas or add new knowledge to that already existing. The approach used in research is the scientific method.
- Organized: members of a research group use the same definitions, standards and principles. To achieve this, the research is planned in detail.
- Objective: conclusions got from research must be based on observed and measured facts, not on subjective impressions. The conclusions should be unbiased.
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.
- Bung, Mario 1967. Scientific research. vol 1: The search for system; vol 2: The search for truth. Berlin:Springer.