observational research
Research Re*search" (r?-s?rch"), n. [Pref. re- + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a topic in the library; medical research. [1913 Webster]

The dearest interests of parties have frequently been staked on the results of the researches of antiquaries. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. Systematic observation of phenomena for the purpose of learning new facts or testing the application of theories to known facts; -- also called {scientific research}. This is the research part of the phrase ``research and development'' (R&D).

Note: The distinctive characteristic of scientific research is the maintenance of records and careful control or observation of conditions under which the phenomena are studied so that others will be able to reproduce the observations. When the person conducting the research varies the conditions beforehand in order to test directly the effects of changing conditions on the results of the observation, such investigation is called {experimental research} or {experimentation} or {experimental science}; it is often conducted in a laboratory. If the investigation is conducted with a view to obtaining information directly useful in producing objects with commercial or practical utility, the research is called {applied research}. Investigation conducted for the primary purpose of discovering new facts about natural phenomena, or to elaborate or test theories about natural phenomena, is called {basic research} or {fundamental research}. Research in fields such as astronomy, in which the phenomena to be observed cannot be controlled by the experimenter, is called {observational research}. {Epidemiological research} is a type of observational research in which the researcher applies statistical methods to analyse patterns of occurrence of disease and its association with other phenomena within a population, with a view to understanding the origins or mode of transmission of the disease. [PJC]

Syn: Investigation; examination; inquiry; scrutiny. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Research — Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a topic in the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Observational techniques — In marketing and the social sciences, observational research (or field research) is a social research technique that involves the direct observation of phenomena in their natural setting. This differentiates it from experimental research in which …   Wikipedia

  • Observational equivalence — In econometrics, two parameter values (sometimes called structures, from among a class of statistical models) are considered observationally equivalent if they both result in the same probability distribution of observable data.[1][2][3] This… …   Wikipedia

  • research — 1. (n) The organized quest for new knowledge and better understanding, e.g., of the natural world, determinants of health and disease. Several types of r. are recognized: observational (empiric); analytic; experimental; theoretical; applied. 2.… …   Medical dictionary

  • applied research — Research Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • basic research — Research Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Epidemiological research — Research Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • experimental research — Research Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • fundamental research — Research Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • scientific research — Research Re*search (r? s?rch ), n. [Pref. re + search: cf OF. recerche, F. recherche.] 1. Diligent inquiry or examination in seeking facts or principles; laborious or continued search after truth; as, researches of human wisdom; to research a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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