Interrogating a sectoid resulted in my earning a research credit, the exact message being:

Research Credit Earned: Beam Weapons

However, the game doesn't explain what a research credit is.

What is a research credit?


It means that the research time for all future research projects which fall into this category is now reduced.

When a research project is affected by a research credit you obtained, its project description will end with the phrase "XYZ research credit applies".

Most alien interrogations will give you some kind of research credit. That means it's usually a good idea to prioritize alien interrogations over other research projects.

Most research credits decrease research time in a specific category by 50%, although there is one that reduces all research time by 25%.

When you want to know which alien species gives you which research credits, and you don't mind MASSIVE SPOILERS, you could look at the answer to this question: What does the full research tree look like?

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    just to add to this, getting the SA bonus for instant interrogations and dissections is awesome as you don't ever have to decide if you want to pursue this over weapon/armor research. – l I Oct 15 '12 at 14:29
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    Interrogation takes a couple of days at most even at the start. Pretty much every other continent's starting bonus is better. – Shadur Nov 11 '12 at 13:11
  • You don't just get the bonus of the starting continent, but also of those continents with full sat coverage. South America is only two countries, so those two satellites are usually a worthwhile investment early in the game. – Philipp Nov 11 '12 at 13:34

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