skip to main content skip to footer

Basic and Applied Research: Definitions, Distinctions, and Implications

Carroll, John B.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Educational Research, Research Needs, Research Problems, Research Utilization


At a time when questions are being raised with particular poignancy about the value of basic research in the social and behavioral sciences, it seems useful to try to clarify some of the issues as they pertain to research in education. Federal support of basic and applied research in education has increased radically in recent years, but we seem to have reached a point at which there is considerable confusion about what kind of research should be supported and what this research may be expected to achieve. This paper argues not only that it is possible and useful to distinguish between basic and applied research, but also that there is a continuing need for both of these types of research in education.

Read More