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What is the difference between a research paper and a scientific paper? Does the research paper also mean a term paper at the end of your Masters?

I need to present a research paper. So does it mean I need to present a solution to an existing problem or does it mean a summary of various solutions already existing?

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A research paper is a paper containing original research. That is, if you do some work to add (or try to add) new knowledge to a field of study, and then present the details of your approach and findings in a paper, that paper can be called a research paper.

Not all academic papers contain original research; other kinds of academic papers that are not research papers are

A scientific paper is any paper on a scientific subject.

Does the research paper also mean a term paper at the end of your Masters?

I need to present a research paper. So does it mean I need to present a solution to an existing problem or does it mean a summary of various solutions already existing?

If the term paper at the end of your masters contains original research, then it's a research paper.

Depending on the policies of your department, you may or may not be required to attempt original research during your masters. In some departments, a review of existing literature may be fine. If you're not sure exactly what's required from you, you need to ask the relevant faculty or staff members in your department.

  • Related: What is a "white paper"?. – E.P. Jan 20 '15 at 18:15
  • It also bears mention that "a summary of various solutions already existing" does not usually qualify as a research paper. – E.P. Jan 20 '15 at 18:16
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Research means that you add something new. Something you didn't know before, and ideally something no-one knew before (although at BSc. and MSc. levels the novelty requirement is generally relaxed). This can be a new investigation, or simply an analysis of a number existing papers. It must however not be a summary of existing solutions. It should go beyond that.

An important thing to remember is that in terms of assignment you are expected to demonstrate insight and understanding. To demonstrate this you need to engage with the topics, not merely summarise (which requires less understanding).

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