Original research

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For the Wikipedia policy page, see Wikipedia:No original research.

Original research is research that is not exclusively based on a summary, review or synthesis of earlier publications on the subject of research. The purpose of the original research is to produce new knowledge, rather than to present the existing knowledge in a new form (e.g., summarized or classified).

The boundary between original research and compilation may be blurred. For example, classification may be as non-original as simply putting things in alphabetical order. On the other hand, a new classification may provide further insights into the nature of the subject and lead to predictions and discovery. A classical example is Mendeleev's periodic table of chemical elements. Often this boundary leads to unjust discrimination.

Original research can take a number of forms, depending on the discipline it pertains to. In experimental work, it typically and involves direct or indirect observation of the researched subject, e.g., in the laboratory or in the field, documents the methodology, results, and conclusions of an experiment or set of experiments, or offers a novel interpretation of previous results. In analytical work, there are typically some new (for example) mathematical results produced, or a new way of approaching an existing problem. In some subjects which do not typically carry out experimentation or analysis of this kind, the originality is in the particular way existing understanding is changed or re-interpreted based on the outcome of the work of the researcher.

The degree of originality of the research is among major criteria for articles to be published in academic journals and usually established by means of peer review.

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Original research

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