As a researcher, I have always understood research to be a form of disciplined inquiry -- when I conduct research, I usually start by surveying what is known - by talking to colleagues, by attending conferences, by reading journal articles, books and resources about the topic or problem of interest. Based on the review of literature and consultation with other researchers to survey what is known, I can identify what questions that other researchers are asking, what themes are emerging in the literature, what findings have been achieved, what new problems are arising, and where the gaps are in current knowledge. Based on the review of what is known, I can design a research protocol to explore what is not known.
Thanks to Jenn McKay, EDD Candidate, for sending along these great quotes about research:
“Research is creating new knowledge.” ~ Neil Armstrong
“If we knew what it is we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” ~ Albert Einstein
“Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston
“You'd be amazed how much research you can get done when you have no life whatsoever.” ~ Ernest Cline