Q. What is an empirical research article and how do I find one?


Empirical Research is defined as research based on observed and measured phenomena.  It is research that derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief.

Requests for "Empirical" articles are usually from instructors in Education or Psychology; most other disciplines will ask for Scholarly, Peer Reviewed or Primary sources.

See if the article mentions a study, an observation, an analysis or a number of participants or subjects. Was data collected, a survey or questionnaire administered, an assessment or measurement used, an interview conducted? All of these terms indicate possible methodologies used in empirical research.

 Empirical articles often contain these sections:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • References

The sections may be combined, and may have different headings or no headings at all; however, the information that would fall within these sections should be present in an empirical article.

You could use the following search devices when using our Databases to find empirical research articles:

A. PsycINFO and PsychARTICLES. After entering search terms in boxes at top of screen, scroll down to Methodology and select: Empirical Study. Note there are subsets of Empirical Study below this entry that you could use.

B. ERIC. Type in your search terms and then scroll down the screen and change these values as shown on the right:

Other Publication Types to try are:

  • Numerical/Quantitative Data
  • Reports-Research


  • Last Updated Apr 22, 2018
  • Views 12
  • Answered By Merlene Nembhard

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