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Empirical studies: Empirical studies

Strategies for finding empirical studies and research articles

What is an empirical study?

  • Empirical studies are those based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
  • Articles that describe empirical research studies are published in scholarly or academic journals.
  • Many scholarly or academic journals are peer-reviewed or refereed, meaning that a panel of experts in the field selects and reviews the articles published in the journal. These articles are often, but not always, empirical studies.
  • Empirical studies articles comprise the following parts (wording may vary):
    • abstract
    • introduction (and review of the literature)
    • method
    • results
    • discussion (and/or Conclusion)
    • references

Sample Journals

The following journals are examples that contain empirical studies and use APA format for documenting sources:

Periodicals List Search

To find out if the library has a specific journal (in print or online), search for the journal name:

Finding Empirical Study Articles

Finding empirical research articles

Most databases will let you limit your search to articles that are:

  • scholarly
  • academic
  • peer-reviewed
  • refereed

Most, but not all, of these will be empirical studies.

To further focus your search, try adding one of the following terms to your search (try different combinations):

  • study
  • methodology (or method)
  • empirical
  • research
  • findings
  • results
  • participants

For example, to find empirical studies on newspaper reading, I might try this:

Where to look

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