APPENDIX D
Definitions of Basic, Applied, and Fundamental Research

This appendix contains definitions of basic, applied, and fundamental research quoted from various sources.

BASIC RESEARCH

DOD Financial Management Regulation, DOD 7000.14-R, Vol. 2B, Ch. 5: Basic research is systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, environmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress. Basic research may lead to: (a) subsequent applied research and advanced technology developments in Defense-related technologies, and (b) new and improved military functional capabilities in areas such as communications, detection, tracking, surveillance, propulsion, mobility, guidance and control, navigation, energy conversion, materials and structures, and personnel support. Program elements in this category involve pre-Milestone A efforts. Available online at http://www.dod.mil/comptroller/fmr/02b/Chapter05.pdf. Last accessed on November 16, 2004.


The objective of basic research is to gain more comprehensive knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, without specific applications in mind. In industry, basic research is defined as research that advances scientific knowledge but does not have specific immediate commercial objectives, although it



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APPENDIX D Definitions of Basic, Applied, and Fundamental Research This appendix contains definitions of basic, applied, and fundamental research quoted from various sources. BASIC RESEARCH DOD Financial Management Regulation, DOD 7000.14-R, Vol. 2B, Ch. 5: Basic research is systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or under- standing of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. It includes all scientific study and experimentation directed toward increasing fundamental knowledge and understanding in those fields of the physical, engineering, envi- ronmental, and life sciences related to long-term national security needs. It is farsighted high payoff research that provides the basis for technological progress. Basic research may lead to: (a) subsequent applied research and advanced tech- nology developments in Defense-related technologies, and (b) new and improved military functional capabilities in areas such as communications, detection, track- ing, surveillance, propulsion, mobility, guidance and control, navigation, energy conversion, materials and structures, and personnel support. Program elements in this category involve pre-Milestone A efforts. Available online at http:// www.dod.mil/comptroller/fmr/02b/Chapter05.pdf. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. The objective of basic research is to gain more comprehensive knowledge or understanding of the subject under study, without specific applications in mind. In industry, basic research is defined as research that advances scientific knowl- edge but does not have specific immediate commercial objectives, although it 44

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45 APPENDIX D may be in fields of present or potential commercial interest. [National Science Foundation, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, US defi- nitions for resource surveys, 1996.] Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/ srs/seind96/ch4_defn.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Scientific efforts that seek to gain more comprehensive knowledge or under- standing of the subject under study, without specific applications or commercial objectives in mind. Available online at http://energytrends.pnl.gov/glosn_z.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Basic research analyzes properties, structures, and relationships toward formu- lating and testing hypotheses, theories, or laws. As used in this survey, industrial basic research is the pursuit of new scientific knowledge or understanding that does not have specific immediate commercial objectives, although it may be in fields of present or potential commercial interest. Available online at http:// caspar.nsf.gov/nsf/srs/IndRD/glossary.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. The investigation of the natural phenomena as contrasted with applied research. Available online at http://www.onlineethics.org/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Systematic study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. [OMB Circular A-11, June 1996.] See Conduct of Research and Development. Available online at https:// radius.rand.org/radius/demo/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Fundamental scientific inquiry to understand the unknown and contribute to improved general knowledge (cf. with applied research). Available online at http://www.ipmrc.com/lib/glossary.shtml. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research done to further knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Available online at http://www.modernhumanorigins.com/b.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Fundamental research; it often produces a wide range of applications, but the output of basic research itself usually is not of direct commercial value. The output is knowledge, rather than a product; it typically cannot be patented. Avail- able online at http://www.wwnorton.com/stiglitzwalsh/economics/glossary.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research aimed at expanding knowledge rather than solving a specific, pragmatic problem. Available online at https://www.quirks.com/resources/glossary.asp. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Focused, systematic study and investigation undertaken to discover new knowl- edge or interpretations and establish facts or principles in a particular field. See Research. Available online at http://www.siu.edu/orda/general/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004.

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46 ASSESSMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BASIC RESEARCH Fundamental research; it often produces a wide range of applications, but the output of basic research itself usually is not of direct commercial value; the output is knowledge, rather than a product; the output of basic research typically cannot be patented. Available online at http://wellspring.isinj.com/sample/econ/ micro/glossb.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research emphasizing the solution of theoretical problems. Binomial probability distribution: The probabilities associated with every possible outcome of an experiment involving n independent trials and a success or failure on each trial. Bivariate analysis: The analysis of relationships among pairs of variables. Available online at http://www.prm.nau.edu/prm447/definitions.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Basic research is research undertaken to advance the knowledge of methodolo- gies and techniques of research. (Compare applied research.) Available online at http://www.rigneyassoc.com/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research that is directed at the growth of scientific knowledge, without any near-term expectations of commercial applications. Available online at http:// highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072443901/student_view0/chapter4/ glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research which adds something new to the body of knowledge of a particular field. Available online at http://researchoffice.astate.edu/glossary_of_proposal_terms.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Designed to test and refine theory. The purpose is to increase our knowledge about communication phenomena by testing, refining, and elaborating theory. Available online at http://www.uky.edu/~drlane/cohort/define.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. The purpose is to increase knowledge without concern for practical application. Available online at http://www.ied.edu.hk/csnsie/ar/chap1/1_glossary.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. In basic research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain more com- plete knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts, without specific applications toward processes or products in mind. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/fedfunds/glossary/ def.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. NSF Definition of Basic Research: Basic research is defined as systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards processes or products in mind. (In Bill Berry’s presentation, Meeting 1, Committee on Department of Defense Basic Research.) In basic research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain fuller knowl- edge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observ- able facts without specific applications toward processes or products in mind. Available online at http://www.aaas.org/spp/cstc/pne/pubs/regrep/alaska/ appendices.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004.

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47 APPENDIX D OMB (Circular A-11, 2003): Basic research is defined as systematic study directed toward fuller knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific applications towards pro- cesses or products in mind. Research directed toward the increase of knowledge, the primary aim being a greater knowledge or understanding of the subject under study. Available online at http://usmilitary.about.com/library/glossary/b/bldef00823.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Commission of the European Communities: W hile there is no strict, unanimously accepted definition of what constitutes basic research, in prac- tice one can identify and distinguish from other types of research, those which are carried out with no direct link to a given application and, if not exclusively, in any case and above all with the objective of progressing knowledge. Available online at http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/press/ 2004/pdf/acte_en_version_final_15janv_04.pdf. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. APPLIED RESEARCH OMB (Circular A-11, 2003): Applied research is defined as systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met. The investigation of some phenomena to discover whether its properties are appropriate to a particular need or want. In contrast, basic research investigates phenomena without reference to particular human needs and wants. Available online at http://www.onlineethics.org/glossary.html. Last accessed on Novem- ber 16, 2004. Aimed at gaining knowledge or understanding to determine the means by which a specific, recognized need may be met. In industry, applied research includes investigations oriented to discovering new scientific knowledge that has specific commercial objectives with respect to products, processes, or services. [National Science Foundation, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences, US definitions for resource surveys, 1996.] Available online at http:// www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/seind96/ch4_defn.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Applied research is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific, predeter- mined objectives. As used in this survey, industrial applied research is investiga- tion that may use findings of basic research toward discovering new scientific knowledge that has specific commercial objectives with respect to new products, services, processes, or methods. Available online at http://www.caspar.nsf.gov/ nsf/srs/IndRD/glossary.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004.

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48 ASSESSMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BASIC RESEARCH Inquiry aimed at gaining the knowledge or understanding to meet a specific, recognized need of a practical nature, especially needs to achieve specific com- mercial objectives with respect to products, processes, or services. Available online at http://energytrends.pnl.gov/glosn_z.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Any research which is used to answer a specific question, determine why some- thing failed or succeeded, solve a specific, pragmatic problem, or to gain better understanding. Available online at https://www.quirks.com/resources/glossary.asp. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Focused, systematic study and investigation undertaken to discover the applica- tions and uses of theories, knowledge, and principles in actual work or in solving problems. See Research. Available online at http://www.siu.edu/orda/general/ glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met. [OMB Circular A-11, June 1996.] See also Conduct of Research and Development. Available online at https://radius.rand.org/radius/demo/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. The investigation of some phenomena to discover whether its properties are appropriate to a particular need or want. In contrast, basic research investigates phenomena without reference to particular human needs and wants. Available online at http://www.unmc.edu/ethics/words.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Available online at http://ventureline.com/ glossary_A.asp. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research designed for the purpose of producing results that may be applied to real world situations. Topic areas: Accountability and Evaluation. Available online at http://www.nonprofitbasics.org/SearchEntireSite.aspx?Source=2& SiteSearchText=research&PW=No&PreviousWord=research&C0=178&C4=1&C3= 4&C5=36&C6=18&C1=92&C2=1. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research that studies the relationship or applicability for theories or principles of a particular field to a particular problem. Available online at http:// researchoffice.astate.edu/glossary_of_proposal_terms.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research done with the intent of applying results to a specific problem. Evalua- tion is a form of applied research. This can be conducted as part of an action research approach. Available online at http://www.sachru.sa.gov.au/pew/ glossary.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Research aimed at improving the quality of life and solving practical problems. Available online at http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0072358327/ student_view0/chapter1/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004.

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49 APPENDIX D The aim is to address an immediate problem. The purpose is to try ideas in the context of educational (classroom) settings. Available online at http:// www.ied.edu.hk/csnsie/ar/chap1/1_glossary.htm. Last accessed on Novem- ber 16, 2004. Applied research is that effort that (1) normally follows basic research, but may not be severable from the related basic research, (2) attempts to determine and exploit the potential of scientific discoveries or improvements in technology, materials, processes, methods, devices, or techniques, and (3) attempts to advance the state of the art. Applied research does not include efforts whose principal aim is design, development, or test of specific items or services to be considered for sale; these efforts are within the definition of the term develop- ment. Available online at http://www-agecon.ag.ohio-state.edu/class/AEDE601/ glossary/glossa.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Conducted to solve particular problems or answer specific questions. Available online at http://www.nelson.com/nelson/hmcanada/ob/glossary.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. In applied research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine how a recognized need may be met. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/sfsucni/method99/help/ glossary.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Utilizing pure research to develop real-world products. Available online at http:// www.investorwords.com/236/applied_research.html. Last accessed on Novem- ber 16, 2004. As opposed to basic research, applied research is the type of research which is conducted to solve practical problems, find cures to illnesses, develop therapies with the purpose of helping people, and other similar types of practical problem- solving research. Available online at http://www.alleydog.com/glossary/ definition.cfm?term=Applied%20Research. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. FUNDAMENTAL RESEARCH National Security Decision Directives: “Fundamental research” means basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which ordinarily are published and shared broadly within the scientific community, as distin- guished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, pro- duction, and product utilization, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary or national security reasons. Available online at http://www.fas.org/ irp/offdocs/nsdd/nsdd-189.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Fundamental research is basic and applied research in science and engineering where the resulting information is ordinarily published and shared broadly within the scientific community. It is distinguished from proprietary research and from industrial development, design, production, and product utilizations, the results of which ordinarily are restricted for proprietary and/or specific national secu-

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50 ASSESSMENT OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BASIC RESEARCH rity reasons. Normally, the results of “fundamental research.” are published in scientific literature, thus making it publicly available. Research which is intended for publication, whether it is ever accepted by scientific journals or not, is con- sidered to be “fundamental research.” A large segment of academic research is considered “fundamental research”. Because any information, technological or otherwise, that is publicly available is not subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) (except for encryption object code and source code in elec- tronic form or media) and thus does not require a license, ‘fundamental research’ is not subject to the EAR and does not require a license. Available online at http://www.umbi.umd.edu/rcc/fundamentalresearch.pdf. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. National Security Decision Directive 189: Fundamental Research defined: basic and applied research in science and engineering, the results of which are avail- able to interested scientific community. National Policy: No restriction may be placed upon the conduct or reporting of federally funded Fundamental Research that has not received national security classification. This is reflected in ITAR at 22 CFRR 120.11(8). Executive Order 12356 (1985). Available online at http:// www.epic.org/open_gov/eo_12356.html. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. Federal Acquisition Regulation 27.404 (g) (2): In contracts for basic or applied research universities or colleges, no restrictions may be placed upon the conduct of or reporting on the results of unclassified basic or applied research, except as provided in applicable U.S. Statutes. Available online at http://supply.lanl.gov/ Property/ecco/History/2004/presentations2004/default.shtml. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. DoD Supplement to the FAR: It is DOD policy . . . to allow the publication and public presentation of unclassified contracted fundamental research results. The mechanism for control of information generated by DOT funded contracted fundamental research . . . is security classification. Available online at http:// supply.lanl.gov/Property/ecco/History/2004/presentations2004/default.shtml. Last accessed on November 16, 2004. OTHER Defense of Basic Research by Joseph Henry: In 1852, Henry defended basic research. It was “profitable,” he said, when that word was defined properly. “The true, the beautiful, as well as the immediately practical, are all entitled to a share of attention. All knowledge is profitable; profitable in its ennobling effect on the character, in the pleasure it imparts in its acquisition, as well as in the power it gives over the operations of mind and matter. All knowledge is useful; every part of this complex system of nature is connected with every other. Nothing is isolated. The discovery of to-day, which appears unconnected with any useful process, may, in the course of a few years, become the fruitful source of a thousand inventions.” Available online at http://www.si.edu/archives/ihd/ jhp/joseph04.htm. Last accessed on November 16, 2004.