Research is a form of organized intellectual work closely associated with the conduct of science. Like its cognates in French (recherche) and German (Forschung), the English word research carries connotations that distinguish it from such related terms as discovery and scholarship. This entry explores the differences between research, discovery, and scholarship, describes three crucial transition points from scholarship to research as a mode of inquiry, and offers some observations about research as a collective project of indefinite duration.

Research Versus Discovery and Scholarship

The differences between the three terms can be grasped most easily through etymology.

Discovery suggests the revelation of something previously hidden, possibly forgotten, typically for a long time. This perhaps captures the oldest sense of knowledge in the Western intellectual tradition, traceable to the Greek ...

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