According to Merriam-Webster, research is:
1: careful or diligent search2: studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws3: the collecting of information about a particular subject
"Research." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/research>.