Q. What is an empirical research article and how do I find one in the library?


Empirical studies are based on actual and objective observation or experimentation. An article about an empirical study is one in which the author is reporting on the outcome of an original study that they conducted. These are often published in scholarly or academic journals and are likely also peer reviewed.

Empirical research articles will contain an abstract (summary), introduction, method (or methodology) of how the research was conducted, results (or outcomes), discussion (interpretations and implications of the study) and references (materials cited in the article).

The PsycARTICLES/PsycINFO database allows you to limit your search empirical studies. Choose Empirical Study in the Methodology box in the Advanced Search.

In ERIC, choose Reports: Research in the Document Type box in the Advanced Search.

In databases where these options are not built in, you can use terms that describe empirical data or research like:

experiment, empirical, study, findings, results, method, methodology, participants  

For example, searching a database for: "smoking cessation AND empirical." 


  • Last Updated Jul 26, 2017
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