“Research and experimental development is creative work undertaken systematically to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.” 1

Research has been defined in a number of different ways. “In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.” 2

Generally, research is understood to follow a certain structural process including 3:

  • Observations and Formation of the Objective
  • Hypothesis: A testable prediction which designates the relationship between two or more variables.
  • Gathering, Analysis & Interpretation of data
  • Test, revising of hypothesis
  • Conclusion, reiteration if necessary

1 (OECD (2002) Frascati Manual: proposed standard practice for surveys on research and experimental development, 6th edition
2 Wikipedia definition of “Research”
3 Wikipedia definition of “Scientific Method”