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Types of Articles found in Scholarly Journals

Distinguish types of articles found in scholarly journals. Your professor might ask you to find a specific type of scholarly article and now you can be confident in your selection.

Empirical Articles

Empirical articles are those in which authors report on their own study. The authors will have collected data to answer a research question.  Empirical research contains observed and measured examples that inform or answer the research question. The data can be collected in a variety of ways such as interviews, surveys, questionnaires, observations, and various other quantitative and qualitative research methods. 

Anatomy of a Research Paper   by Richard D. Branson published in Respir Care. 2004 October; 49(10): 1222–1228.

How to Read a Scholarly Chemistry Artricle -  Rider Libraries tutorial.

How to read and understand a scientific paper - a guide for non-scientists - Violent Metaphors (blog post).

Compare your article to this table to help determine you have located an empirical study/research report.

Look for the following words in the title/abstract: empirical, experiment, research, or study.




A short synopsis of the article’s content


Need and rational of this particular research project with research question, statement, and hypothesis.

Literature Review (sometimes included in the Introduction)

Supporting their ideas with other scholarly research


Describes the methodology including a description of the participants, and a description of the research method, measure, research design, or approach to data analysis.

Results or Findings

Uses narrative, charts, tables, graphs, or other graphics to describe the findings of the paper


 Provides a discussion, summary, or conclusion, bringing together the research question, statement, 


References all the articlesdiscussed and cited in the paper- mostly in the literature or results sections