Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Definition of Research

The University has adopted the following definition of research from the Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations (DEEWR):

The essential characteristic of research activity is that it leads to publicly verifiable outcomes which are open to peer appraisal.

Research and experimental development comprises:

  • creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humanity, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications. (1)
  • any activity classified as research and experimental development is characterised by originality; it should have investigation as a primary objective and should have the potential to produce results that are sufficiently general for humanity's stock of knowledge (theoretical and/or practical) to be recognisably increased. Most higher education research work would qualify as research and experimental development.

Types of Activity include pure basic research, strategic basic research, applied research and experimental development. These are described below:

  • pure basic research is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge.
  • strategic basic research is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas that are expected to lead to useful discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary to solve recognised practical problems.
  • applied research is original work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. It is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives.
  • experimental development is systematic work, using existing knowledge gained from research or practical experience, that is directed to producing new materials, products or devices, to installing new processes, systems and services, or to improving substantially those already produced or installed.

(1) Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's definition of Research and Experimental Development (R&D):