Search vs Research
Search and research are two words in English language that are confusing for students learning English. This is because of the similarities between the two words as both contain search in them. However, search is not research as you look for something when you are searching whereas research is a systematic way of investigation of things to increase our knowledge base. This is not all as there are many more differences between search and research that will be discussed in this article.
If NASA sends Curiosity to Mars, it is for the purpose of searching for water and other signs of life on this red planet. Searching is the act of looking for something at a place. If you are looking for some information on Google, you are conducting a search, but when you are looking for your lost keys in the dark outside your house, it is also searching. Looking for something is searching at all levels whether a kid is searching his lost toy or NASA looks for life on a planet.
These days there is a trend to refer to the act of searching on the internet as Googling because of the fact that Google is the giant of a search engine overpowering all other search engines combined together. It is akin to hoovering a place when you are trying to vacuum clean the place. Search does not lead to research at all. It is only the beginning of the process that may end in research.
As described above, research is a systematic process of analyzing information to establish facts and to arrive at new conclusions. Taking up the example of NASA, we see that the space missions on which it sends shuttles conduct search and return with all the findings. This information is analyzed to establish facts and to arrive at certain conclusions through research by scientists at NASA. Merely looking at the subject matter randomly inside different books in a library cannot be called research. Similarly, downloading relevant subject matter from different websites from the internet is merely search and not research. It is when a student starts to analyze the collected material and reflects upon it, to reach some conclusions that are new and hitherto unknown, that he can be said to have indulged in research.
What is the difference between Search and Research?
• Search is merely looking for something whereas research is much more than that.
• Research involves systematic gathering of information to analyze it to establish facts and to reach conclusions.
• Review and evaluation are integral parts of research whereas search only involves looking for things.
• Search can be as simple as a kid looking for his toy or NASA sending a space mission to Mars to search for life on this planet.
• Surfing to look for something on the internet is merely search while comparing and evaluating this information later on can be termed as research.