for questions that specifically ask about academic papers or other scientific research

Research can be defined as the search for knowledge, or as any systematic investigation, with an open mind, to establish novel facts, 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.

Reference: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research, retreived 2011-04-25

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