How do you distinguish research from other research related activity?

The definition of research in health care is constantly evolving and has been defined differently by a number of organisations. For the purpose of research governance in the NHS, research means the attempt to derive generalisable new knowledge by addressing clearly defined questions with systematic and rigorous methods.  This definition includes studies that aim to generate hypotheses as well as studies that aim to test them. Research is to find out what you should be doing; audit and evaluation are to find out if you are doing planned activity and whether it is working.

To help you decide whether a project should be classified as research, you should refer to this document (Defining Research).  For additional and more detailed guidance please contact your directorate research representative or Helen Allbutt (0131 656 3245)