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Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, 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.


  • Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life.
  • Research is something that everyone can do, and everyone ought to do. It is simply collecting information and thinking systematically about it. The word ‘research’ carries overtones of abstruse statistics and complex methods, white coats and computers. Some social research is highly specialised but most is not; much of the best research is logically very straightforward. Useful research on many problems can be done with small resources, and should be a regular part of the life of any thoughtful person involved in social action.
    • Raewyn Connell et al. (1975). How to do small surveys – a guide for students in sociology, kindred industries and allied trades. School of Social Sciences. Flinders University. p. 1.
  • Attempt the end and never stand to doubt;
    Nothing's so hard but search will find it out.
  • In the course of describing my formative moment in 1978, I have already implicitly given my four basic rules for research. Let me now state them explicitly, then explain. Here are the rules:

    1. Listen to the Gentiles
    2. Question the question
    3. Dare to be silly
    4. Simplify, simplify

  • It is a good thing for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast.
  • Hail, follow, well met,
    All dirty and wet:
    Find out, if you can,
    Who's master, who's man.
    • Jonathan Swift, My Lady's Lamentation; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 400.
  • The worst thing happens when ideologists are trying to analyse scientific researches.
    • Jerzy Vetulani, Neurobiologia inteligencji, „Wiedza i Życie” 2/2008, pages 14–19.

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