Research and development articles

The field of research and development (R&D, as it is more commonly referred to) is relatively new. Before the 1950s there was scientific research, of course, but the idea of connecting it to development came into being in the mid-20th century. Research is an ancient tool and is as old as science itself. Think, for a moment about how ancient peoples transported large objects such as the stones used for building Stonehenge. To do this the ancients used wheeled vehicles, but how were these developed? It has been speculated that large items were placed on smooth logs and pulled by horses or other large animals. This system of early transport paved the way for the development of wheels and wheeled vehicles. Neolithic people clearly understood the need for research and development.


Before new products hit the supermarket shelves they go through a long process. First comes the idea, followed by the research done to see if the idea is workable and next comes the development phase when products are made, tried and tested. A prototype is made to find out if the idea is feasible and not just an idea that is impractical. The prohibitive cost of developing some products means that they aren’t developed after the prototype has been made.

Types of research

Research us either pure or applied. In industry, pure (or basic) research is conducted to further the pursuit of a goal which will, it is hoped, benefit the industry undertaking the research.

Applied research takes the findings of pure research and moves them towards a point from which they can be utilised to meet an identified need. Then comes the development stage when the product, for example, is taken further and moved into the production stage.

In the developed, or industrial world, countries such as Japan the US and European countries, governments and private companies have realised that research and development is integral to economic planning.

Companies have recognised that investing in research and development is necessary to keep ahead of the competition. It is the R&D departments which make businesses successful (or not).

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  • It has been proved that sales figures improve when a company fully commits to R&D.
  • Companies that invest in R&D will probably give their shareholders the best returns on their investments.
  • If a company has a team of creative, innovative researchers and developers, and is committed to market development, and the development of streamlined, innovative business practices, then it should have an edge over competitors.
  • Innovation and innovatory practices are crucial to a successful business. Think of the invention of the electric lightbulb; this revolutionised the ways people worked and lived. No longer was it only possible to work during daylight hours. Dim lights, candle flames and oil lamps for example, became things of the past. Economies developed, and people had more leisure time because they were no longer forced to wake with the sunrise and retire for the night when it got dark.
  • There are tax advantages for companies that invest in R&D too, which help a company’s bottom line.
  • A company that does not develop innovative ideas or products eventually dies. remember the catch phrase, ‘innovate or die.’
  • The initial investment in R&D is worth the money spent because it is actually an investment in the future success of a company.

Think about how far the countries who spend most on research and development have come since 2006.

These countries spend the most on R&D: -

  • The USA
  • The countries of the European Union (especially Germany)
  • Japan
  • China
  • Israel
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Iceland
  • South Korea

If you consider this list, you will realise that there is a correlation between investment in R&D and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as Gross National Product (GNP).

  1. If you work in R&D you might be considering writing an academic article, or perhaps you have been approached by a commissioning editor and asked to submit an article to a journal for possible publication. If this is the case, your first step should be to read the publications guidelines very thoroughly and carefully.
  2. You will also need to think very carefully about how to present information in a way that is logical and understandable to a lay person. Try not to use jargon, but if you do give definitions of words and phrases that might be misconstrued by a non-native speaker of English, and a native speaker who is not familiar with the terms used in your article or paper.
  3. One word of advice: - concentrate, in the first instance, on getting your ideas down on paper or print. In other words, don’t try to edit and write. When you have a first draft, look through it carefully to see if it makes sense and that there is a logical progression to your thoughts.
  4. You can have a file on your PC where you can type your proposed headings and subheadings so that when you have ideas about what to include in them, you can ‘fill in the gaps.’ Don’t force yourself to write sections in order.
  5. You should work out how many words you can feasibly write in a day. When you achieve your target, (different people will have different ones), just write any ideas in bullet points so that you will remember your thoughts when you sit down to write the following day.
  6. Sometimes writes become frustrated when they can’t find the right word. Don’t spend too long trying to think of it. Write down a definition, or something that will jog your memory and revisit the page at a later date.
  7. The proofreading and editing stage is very important. Don’t rush it. You will need to rewrite at least some sections of your article or paper. No one writes a perfect first draft. Ask a friend to read though it and make constructive comments. Don’t be upset with any constructive criticism.
  8. You will need to choose the most appropriate journal to submit your article to. Don’t send it to several that are wildly inappropriate. Look through journals for articles that are on similar topics to yours.
  9. Make sure that you adhere to the submissions procedures outlined.
  10. If your paper is rejected, don’t get upset. Revise it and resubmit it.

Perhaps you need help with your writing and editing. This might be because you lack confidence in your ability to convey your ideas in English. This might be because English is not your native language. It might be that you are not confident in your writing abilities, some mathematicians and scientists, for example, aren’t.

If you need help with your writing, or with proofreading and editing your work, contact us. We run a fully confidential service. No one will ever know that you have used us to produce your article or paper for you. Why not contact us now and find out more about our fully professional services?

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