Research is a reliable and fairly systematic way of finding the truth. Development is a reasoned way of putting research results to use. Research and development (R&D) can be modeled as a helix (coil spring) in time; loops are not cycles that are repeated; progress is made with each loop or turn of the helix. Robert Good pictures in his feedback model for the process of scientific research ( 1978) a double helix of differenthandedness. The helixes represent experimental and theoretical procedures used in R&D. Feedback through comparators against reference standards confirm or deny progress and indicate further action. Whether there are two or more helixes or only one is immaterial in the following presentation because we are concerned here only with the efficient supply of data into a helical model.
All R&D is based upon earlier work and knowledge. The earlier work is seen in the form of apparatus, designs, devices, processes, and so on, and as library material: articles, hand- books, journals, patents, reports, reviews, and so forth. The knowledge comes from the experiments and experiences of those engaged in R&D. The alternative to basing R&D upon earlier work and knowledge is to guess and gamble, and to start from scratch each time. Little progress could be made if everything had to be done without building upon what is known. Starting R&D without the benefit of earlier work and