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Psyc 101: Aman Bassi Fall 2022

What are research articles?

In the Level 1 videos, you learned about peer-review articles and how to find them. However, there are many different types of peer-reviewed articles.

For many of your psychology courses, you'll be asked to find research articles which are also known as empirical articles.

Research articles report the methods and findings of an original research study conducted by the authors of the article. These differ from literature reviews which discuss previous research studies on a topic. 

Watch the video below to learn more.

How are research articles organized?

Research articles often have a common organization that makes it easier to identify them.

Empirical research articles will usually have the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion

Watch the video to learn more about what you can find in each section and to see an example of an empirical article. 

Systematic Reviews vs Research Articles

Systematic review articles answer a very specific research question by collecting and analyzing evidence from previous research studies that fit certain criteria. 

Systematic reviews often follow the same organization as research articles, and it can be challenging to tell the difference if you look at organization alone.

To make sure you're looking at a research article and not a systematic review, read the abstract and methods closely. If the methods describe how the authors searched for previous studies to include, you are looking at a systematic review. 

How do I find empirical articles in PsycInfo?

PsycInfo makes it easy to limit your results to not just peer-reviewed articles, but to empirical articles. Watch the video below to see how you can limit your search results to empirical articles, then try it for yourself.