This is another major classification that merits separate treatment in this course ware. Studies by Calvert (2006), clearly reveals the enduring controversies the two classes of research has generated.
- Pure Research: Pure Research which sometimes is referred to as Basic Research or Fundamental Research could be defined as the research conducted for purely epistemological and intellectual purposes that is not tainted by immediate practical goals (Stokes, 1997; Ikeagwu, 1998). Research under this category are usually justified by the fact that such an exploratory knowledge seeking adventure could break the frontiers of knowledge to stumble into unknown and unexpected information. In the long run, the knowledge gained will be used to handle societal problem. Most breakthroughs in the field of nuclear physics, space research and military spheres mostly started as basic research.
- Applied Research: Applied Research on the other hand, are those conducted for the purposes of solving clearly identified social problems or finding a better way of doing old things. As noted by Materson and Lee (2004) who refer to applied research as action research, note that applied research seeks the twin objective of advancing scientific theory as well as solving real world problem. In particular, the authors observe that:
Emphasizing the empirical dimension of science that comes into play in both the development and the testing of a theory, action research strives to marry rigor to relevance by conducting scientific research in the setting of a real-world problem. In action research, what science would regard to be an experimental stimulus or experimental treatment simultaneously plays the role of an intervention or action aimed at remedying the real-world problem (P 508)
In other words, applied research uses techniques of science to gather information in specific instances to answer specific current problems (Ikeagwu, 1998). In today’s materialistic world, this research is very much popular and elicits the support and the sponsorship of private, public and government organizations.