Pure, Basic and Fundamental Research

28th January 2021 1 By indiafreenotes

Basic research, also called pure research or fundamental research, is a type of scientific research with the aim of improving scientific theories for better understanding and prediction of natural or other phenomena.

Basic research focuses on the search for truth or the development of theory. Because of this property, basic research is fundamental. Researchers with their fundamental background knowledge “design studies that can test, refine, modify, or develop theories.”

In contrast, applied research uses scientific theories to develop technology or techniques which can be used to intervene and alter natural or other phenomena. Though often driven simply by curiosity, basic research often fuels the technological innovations of applied science. The two aims are often practiced simultaneously in coordinated research and development.

Basic research advances fundamental knowledge about the world. It focuses on creating and refuting or supporting theories that explain observed phenomena. Pure research is the source of most new scientific ideas and ways of thinking about the world. It can be exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory; however, explanatory research is the most common.

Basic research generates new ideas, principles, and theories, which may not be immediately utilized but nonetheless form the basis of progress and development in different fields. Today’s computers, for example, could not exist without research in pure mathematics conducted over a century ago, for which there was no known practical application at the time. Basic research rarely helps practitioners directly with their everyday concerns; nevertheless, it stimulates new ways of thinking that have the potential to revolutionize and dramatically improve how practitioners deal with a problem in the future.

Here are a few examples of questions asked in pure research:

  • How did the universe begin?
  • What are protons, neutrons, and electrons composed of?
  • How do slime molds reproduce?
  • How do the Neo-Malthusians view the Malthusian theory?
  • What is the specific genetic code of the fruit fly?
  • What is the relevance of the dividend theories in the capital market?

Basic Research Method

  • Interview

An interview is a common method of data collection in basic research that involves having a one-on-one interaction with an individual in order to gather relevant information about a phenomenon. Interview can be structured, unstructured or semi-structured depending on the research process and objectives. 

In a structured interview, the researcher asks a set of premeditated questions while in an unstructured interview, the researcher does not make use of a set of premeditated questions. Rather he or she depends on spontaneity and follow-up questioning in order to gather relevant information.

On the other hand, a semi-structured interview is a type of interview that allows the researcher to deviate from premeditated questions in order to gather more information about the research subject. You can conduct structured interviews online by creating and administering a survey online on Online tool.

  • Observation

Observation is a type of data-gathering method that involves paying close attention to a phenomenon for a specific period of time in order to gather relevant information about its behaviors. When carrying out basic research, the researcher may need to study the research subject for a stipulated period as it interacts with its natural environment.

Observation can be structured or unstructured depending on its procedures and approach. In structured observation, the data collection is carried out using a predefined procedure and in line with a specific schedule while unstructured observation is not restricted to a predetermined procedure.

  • Experiment

An experiment is a type of quantitative data-gathering method that seeks to validate or refute a hypothesis and it can also be used to test existing theories. In this method of data collection, the researcher manipulates dependent and independent variables to achieve objective research outcomes.

  • Questionnaire

A questionnaire is a data collection tool that is made up of a series of questions to which the research subjects provide answers. It is a cost-effective method of data gathering because it allows you to collect large samples of data from the members of the group simultaneously.

You can create and administer your pure research questionnaire online using Online tool and you can also make use of paper questionnaires; although these are easily susceptible to damage.

  Fundamental research Applied research




Expand knowledge of processes of business and management

Results in universal principles relating to the process and its relationship to outcomes

Findings of significance and value to society in general

Improve understanding of particular business or management problem

Results in solution to problem

New knowledge limited to problem

Findings of practical relevance and value to managers in organizations




Undertaken by people based in universities

Choice of topic and objectives determined by the researcher

Flexible time scales

Undertaken by people based in a variety of settings including organizations and universities

Objectives negotiated with originator

Tight time scales