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"Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture, and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications."[1] It is used to establish or confirm facts, reaffirm the results of previous work, solve new or existing problems, support theorems, or develop new theories. A research project may also be an expansion on past work in the field. To test the validity of instruments, procedures, or experiments, research may replicate elements of prior projects, or the project as a whole.

The primary purposes of basic research (as opposed to applied research) are documentation, discovery, interpretation, or the research and development of methods and systems for the advancement of human knowledge. Approaches to research depend on epistemologies, which vary considerably both within and between humanities and sciences. Research can be classified into[2]:

  • exploratory research: the initial analysis of date to obtain as many relationships as possible between variables without knowing their end-application
  • conclusive research: the testing of hypotheses of a research problem formulated from exploratory research, drawing conclusions for implementation
  • modeling research: the abstraction of reality by taking real-life problems and formulating models in order to solve them
  • algorithmic research: the use of a well-defined sequence of steps to solve combinatorial and polynomial problems


  1. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2002). Frascati Manual: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. pp. 256. doi:10.1787/9789264199040-en. ISBN 9264199047. 
  2. Panneerselvam, R. (2004). Research Methodology. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. p. 6–16. ISBN 8120324528.