We like the 2002 NHS definition:

Research can be identified as the attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods.

Section 1.7 in Department of Health. (2000). Research Governance Framework for Health and Social Care. Department of Health.

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Interestingly, as of 10/11/21 that original document seems no longer to accessible anywhere in UK governmental repositories but it is available here in, the famouse wayback machine.

We are aware that having either been based in, or had links to, the NHS for most of our working lives we have been less exposed to other definitions but that one still feels a sensible compromise between sufficiently restrictive to be a definition, while still leaving much open to interpretation. We also like the distinction between “big R and little r” and are increasingly wary of the industrialisation and commoditisation of “big R” through the late 20th and early 21st Centuries. That “big R” structure seems more concerned to consolidate information as power within either the huge, supranational industries and commerce, or increasingly controlling power structures of national governments and their joint agencies.

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Chapters 1 and 10 particularly.

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Created 10/11/21.

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