Definition of Research
In the broadest sense of the word, the definition of research includes any gathering of data, information and facts for the advancement of knowledge.
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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.
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.
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.