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


Empirical research is research that is based on observation and measurement of phenomena, as directly experienced by the researcher. The data thus gathered may be compared against a theory or hypothesis, but the results are still based on real life experience. The data gathered is all primary data, although secondary data from a literature review may form the theoretical background.

Typically, empirical research embodies the following elements:

  • research question, which will determine research objectives.
  • A particular and planned design for the research, which will depend on the question and which will find ways of answering it with appropriate use of resources.
  • The gathering of primary data, which is then analysed.
  • A particular methodology for collecting and analysing the data, such as an experiment or survey.
  • The limitation of the data to a particular group, area or time scale, known as a sample: for example, a specific number of employees of a particular company type, or all users of a library over a given time scale. The sample should be somehow representative of a wider population.
  • The ability to recreate the study and test the results. This is known as reliability.
  • The ability to generalize from the findings to a larger sample and to other situations.


Search for Empirical Study:

Option #1

  • On library homepage, use search bar near top of the page.
  • Enter search terms (example: “anxiety disorder” and “empirical study”.
  • On results page, to the left, select Academic Journal.


  • On library homepage, click on Databases by Title.
  • Click on letter “P”, or scroll down and select PsycARTICLES or PsycINFO.
  • On search page, scroll down to methodology, and select Empirical Study.
  • There are also several other options to refine the search.
  • Last Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Views 83
  • Answered By Merlene Nembhard

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