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CME6850: Capstone in Community Engagement (Nemon)

Features of a Peer-Reviewed Article (Loyd Sealy Library)

Image of the first page of a peer-reviewed article. These items are highlighted: Been published in a scholarly journal.   An overall serious, thoughtful tone.   More than 10 pages in length (usually, but not always).   An abstract (summary) on the first page.  Organization by headings such as Introduction, Literature Review, and Conclusion.  Citations throughout and a bibliography or reference list at the end.  Credentialed authors, usually affiliated with a research institute or university.

Also consider...

  • Is the journal in which you found the article published or sponsored by a professional scholarly society, professional association, or university academic department? Does it describe itself as a peer-reviewed publication? (To know that, check the journal's website). 
  • Did you find a citation for it in one of the databases that includes scholarly publications? Read the database description to see if it includes scholarly publications.
  • In the database, did you limit your search to peer-reviewed publications?
  • Is the topic of the article narrowly focused and explored in depth?
  • Is the article based on either original research or authorities in the field (as opposed to personal opinion)?
  • Is the article written for readers with some prior knowledge of the subject?
  • If your field is social or natural science, is the article divided into sections with headings such as those listed below?
  • Introduction
  • Theory or Background
  • Methods
  • Discussion
  • Literature review
  • Subjects
  • Results
  • Conclusion

Finding 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. 




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 articles discussed and cited in the paper- mostly in the literature or results sections

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