This title considers what is distinctive about educational research in comparison with other research in the social sciences. As the contributors all agree that education is always an essentially moral enterprise, discussion about methodology starts, not with the widely endorsed claim that educational research should be "useful" and "relevant", but with the attempt to justify and elaborate that claim with reference to its moral foundations. Determining the nature of "usefulness" and "relevance" is not simply a matter of focussing on impact and influence but involves a radical re-conceptualisation of the moral and educational significance of what is deemed to be "useful" and "relevant". There is no argument with this emphasis on the generation of "useful" and "relevant" knowledge, but it is suggested that educational research requires a fuller and more rounded understanding that takes account of the moral values of those who conduct it. Educational research is grounded, epistemologically, in the moral foundations of educational practice. It is the epistemological and moral purposes underlying the "usefulness" and "relevance" of educational research that matter.