For example, used in a sentence of the form:

His research on molecular biology and computational genetics is path-breaking...

My own guess is that it refers to one body of work, hence singular.

  • 4
    Singular in the US. No telling what those crazies in the UK do.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 14:32
  • 2
    "research" is singular, researches plural. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/… - As to AmE Oald says research is uncountable.
    – rogermue
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 14:33
  • 1
    @fg nu As used here, it's an abstract non-count noun. Like most non-count nouns, it's singular in form.
    – BillJ
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 15:41

2 Answers 2


The noun research without final -es is singular; that with final -es added is plural: research is but researches are.

OED lists both count and mass noun usages for research. Often the plural is used in much the same sense as the (singular) mass noun, as in

The foundation opted to fund Dr. Hughes’s research(es) on neutron stars.

Despite what some of the comments have said, I do not believe that the count or plural usage is foreign to American English—of which I am a native speaker, though possibly tainted by some formative years in England. I routinely hear people speak of a research article or paper as “a research,” though I do not use the word thus myself. (This question addresses that usage.) OED lists an American example of count-noun usage with indefinite article:

1889 Jrnl. Amer. Chem. Soc. 11 110 An intimate research into the oxims of benzil.

And the American Heritage Dictionary offers both mass (1) and count (2) definitions of research as noun:

  1. Careful study of a given subject, field, or problem, undertaken to discover facts or principles.
  2. An act or period of such study: her researches of medieval parish records.
  • So both (a) His research on molecular biology and computational genetics is path-breaking... and (b) His researches [covering] molecular biology and computational genetics are path-breaking... are available. (a), as OP implies, focuses on the scientist's body of work as a whole, whereas (b) emphasises that there have been different thrusts. // I'd say 'a research', especially unpadded, is extremely rare in the UK. // The linked thread does not really answer the question about the acceptability of 'a research'. Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 17:19
  • @Brian, So "..further research needs to be done.." or "..further research need to be done.."?
    – Pacerier
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 6:02
  • We don't have "researches"! Only research is correct!
    – Sara
    Commented Jan 21, 2022 at 0:06

Webster's Dictionary describes research as both the singular and plural when used as a noun.

Researches is listed only as a verb

  • AHD 1, Webster's 0 Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 17:16

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