Research and the Scholarly Community

A fundamental purpose of a higher education institution (HEI) is research. Research is the creation, expansion and development of knowledge. An HEI’s role is to do research, communicate research, and teach research.

Teaching research is more than passing on information about research findings or training students in research processes. Students are learning to be researchers: people who create and access knowledge, and approach it in a certain way and explore and apply new ways.

Learning research principles is valuable whatever career path you take after higher education, and is personally enriching as well as being of benefit to your professional life.

community of scholarship

Academic research is produced within a community of scholarship: knowledge is made by building on previous knowledge, and working in collaboration and conversation with the work of other scholars (students and tutors).

Research as a community endeavour has a number of implications for the standards of academic work.


By definition, scholarship must be made available so that it can be expanded, developed and critiqued by other researchers.  As it is accountable to the scholarly community, academic work will be rigorousas thorough and accurate as is possible with the available resources. Scholarship will also have integrity, being fair and honest about its production. For these reasons, it is important to clearly record and document the sources of academic research. As a community, academic scholarship has its own way of communicating things so that they can be easily understood and used by others: this is referred to as academic style.

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