Skip to main content

EDU2210 Child and Adolescent Development (Stroud) Spring 2020

What's an Empirical Article?

How to Recognize Empirical Literature

Definition of an empirical study: An empirical research article reports the results of a study that uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation. Empirical research articles are examples of primary research.

Parts of a standard empirical research article: (articles will not necessary use the exact terms listed below.)

  • Abstract ... A paragraph-length description of what the study includes.
  • Introduction...Includes a statement of the hypotheses for the research and a review of other research on the topic.
  • Method ...A description of how the research was conducted, such as:
             ◊ Who are participants
             ◊  Design of the study 
             ◊  What the participants did 
             ◊  What measures were used
  • Results...Describes the outcomes of the measures of the study.
  • Discussion...Contains the interpretations and implications of the study.
  • References...Contains citation information on the material cited in the report. (also called bibliography or works cited)

Characteristics of an Empirical Article:

  • Empirical articles will include charts, graphs, or statistical analysis.
  • Empirical research articles are usually substantial, maybe from 8-30 pages long.
  • There is always a bibliography found at the end of the article.

Type of publications that publish empirical studies:

  • Empirical research articles are published in scholarly or academic journals
    These journals are also called “peer-reviewed,” or “refereed” publications.

Databases that contain empirical research: (selected list only)

  • MACKsearch add these words to your search terms: 
    method* or
     research or research design or survey* or data or result*
  • PsycINFO limit your searches by Form/Content Type to Empirical Study
  • ERIC limit to Pub. Type to Reports - Research/Technical
    Change one dropdown box to Record. This finds REPORTS--RESEARCH.
    ‚Äč