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What is Research?

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Careful study of a given subject, field, or problem, undertaken to discover facts or principles.
2. An act or period of such study: her researches of medieval parish records.

To engage in or perform research.
1. To study (something) thoroughly so as to present in a detailed, accurate manner: researching the effects of acid rain.
2. To do research for: research a magazine article.
[Obsolete French recerche, from recercher, to search closely, from Old French : re-, re- + cerchier, to search; see search.]
re·search′a·ble adj.
re·search′er, re·search′ist n.

Source: American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

1. systematic investigation to establish facts or principles or to collect information on a subject
2. to carry out investigations into (a subject, problem, etc)
[C16: from Old French recercher to seek, search again, from re- + cercher to search]
reˈsearchable adj reˈsearcher n

Source: Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

1. diligent and systematic inquiry into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, etc.
2. a particular instance or piece of research.
3. to make researches; investigate carefully.
4. to make an extensive investigation into.

Source: Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.



In business dictionary (<a title=”; href=”; target=”_blank”></a&gt;), research means systematic investigative process employed to increase or revise current knowledge by discovering new facts. It is divided into two general categories: (1) Basic research is inquiry aimed at increasing scientific knowledge, and (2) Applied research is effort aimed at using basic research for solving problems or developing new processes, products, or techniques.

More detail, merriam-webster dictionary (<a title=”; href=”; target=”_blank”></a&gt;) define re·search as:
1: careful study that is done to find and report new knowledge about something
2: the activity of getting information about a subject

Full Definition of RESEARCH
1: careful or diligent search
2: studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
3: the collecting of information about a particular subject

Examples of RESEARCH
She conducts research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
Recent research shows that the disease is caused in part by bad nutrition.
The study is an important piece of research.
He did a lot of research before buying his car.

Origin of RESEARCH
Middle French recerche, from recercher to go about seeking, from Old French recerchier, from re- + cerchier, sercher to search — more at search
First Known Use: 1577

Related to RESEARCH
delving, disquisition, examen, examination, exploration, inquest, inquisition, investigation, probation, probe, probing, inquiry, study

In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge. Reading a factual book of any sort is a kind of research. Surfing the internet or watching the news is also a type of research (<a title=”; href=”; target=”_blank”></a&gt;).

Science does not use this word in the same way, preferring to restrict it to certain narrowly defined areas. The word ‘review’ is more often used to describe the learning process which is one of the underlying tenets of the rigid structures defining scientific research.

The Scientific Definition

The strict definition of scientific research is performing a methodical study in order to prove a hypothesis or answer a specific question. Finding a definitive answer is the central goal of any experimental process.

Research must be systematic and follow a series of steps and a rigid standard protocol. These rules are broadly similar but may vary slightly between the different fields of science.

Scientific research must be organized and undergo planning, including performing literature reviews of past research and evaluating what questions need to be answered.

Any type of ‘real’ research, whether scientific, economic or historical, requires some kind of interpretation and an opinion from the researcher. This opinion is the underlying principle, or question, that establishes the nature and type of experiment.

The scientific definition of research generally states that a variable must be manipulated, although case studies and purely observational science do not always comply with this norm.

Budi Purwanto. Bogor. Agustus 2011.


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