Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, solve new or existing problems, prove new ideas, or develop new theories, usually using a scientific method. The primary purpose for basic research (as opposed to 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.
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. Scientific research is a widely used criterion for judging the standing of an academic institution, such as business schools, but some argue that such is an inaccurate assessment of the institution.
Artistic research, also seen as ‘practice-based research’, can take form when creative works are considered both the research and the object of research itself. It is the debatable body of thought which offers an alternative to purely scientific methods in research in its search for knowledge and truth.
Historical research is embodied in the historical method. Historians use primary sources and other evidence to systematically investigate a topic, and then to write histories in the form of accounts of the past.
The phrase my research is also used loosely to describe a person’s entire collection of information about a particular subject.