Almost continuous innovation in the area of new technologies and applications in second language teaching and learning can make research especially challenging. In longer-term projects, for example, the researcher may find that by the end of the project the technology that has been central to it has been surpassed or outmoded. While some precautionary steps can be taken, such as focusing on underlying principles, the technology in use still remains critical. This is why the drive for deeper principles and theoretical insights in CALL research becomes so important. However, it is also a matter of the kind of research being attempted, for example whether it is preliminary and exploratory, aiming to evaluate a very new technology or application, or whether it is more refined and focussed, incorporating the use of a technology or application that is relatively stable and well established. This paper focuses on the impact of technological innovation in CALL research, while accepting that pedagogical innovation and curriculum innovation are also contributing factors. The paper describes exemplary projects and strategies for research planning where the aim is to sustain longer-term research agendas alongside shorter-term research goals which, while still reflecting broader principles, are still responsive to rapid innovation and development.