An empirical research article reports research based on actual observation or experiment. The research may use quantitative or qualitative research methods.
Quantitative Research uses numerical data to try to establish causal relationships between variables (“Based on 100 interactions, A causes B.”)
Qualitative Research objectively and critically analyzes behaviors, beliefs, feelings, or other values (“People suffering from Illness A tend to be more cautious.”)
When searching for empirical research articles, use database tools and extra keywords to help narrow your search.
Limit search to "Full Text" and "Peer Reviewed"
Limit search by source type (“Academic Journals” or “Scholarly Journals”)
In addition to keywords for your topic, use words or phrases such as:
“study” or “studies”
“subjects” or “participants”
For more help with database searching and keywords, check out the Research Help library guide.
What type of source is your article published in?
Popular Magazines (Time, People, Psychology Today, WebMD, etc.): usually NOT empirical
Journals (Academic, Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Professional): sometimes YES
An abstract is a brief summary or overview of the article. Abstracts for empirical research articles:
May describe a study, observation, or analysis
May mention participants or subjects, data, surveys, questionnaires, assessments, interviews, or other measurements
Empirical articles (and scholarly articles in general) are usually at least 5 pages (often up to 20 pages long).
Empirical articles may include headings or subheadings for sections such as:
Methodology or Methods
Empirical research articles often include some sort of (quantitative and/or qualitative) data. This may be included in the article as charts, tables, graphs, or appendices.