The nature of research in any discipline is dependent on the nature of the discipline. The materials you use will vary and so will the way you use them. If you are studying geography, you will be using maps, atlases and GPS systems. If you are studying a hard science, much of your time may be spent with field reports and lab experiments. In the sciences, most study is done with the most current research, and the value of historical documents is limited to those studying the history of the field rather than the field itself.