How Can I Find Primary Research Articles?
Many of the recommended databases in this research guide contain primary research articles (also known as empirical articles or research studies). Search in databases like ScienceDirect, MEDLINE, and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition.
Primary Research Articles: How Will I Know One When I See One?
Primary Research Articles
To conduct and publish an experiment or research study, an author or team of authors designs an experiment, gathers data, then analyzes the data and discusses the results of the experiment. A published experiment or research study will therefore look very different from other types of articles (newspaper stories, magazine articles, essays, etc.) found in our library databases. The following guidelines will help you recognize a primary research article, written by the researchers themselves and published in a scholarly journal.
Structure of a Primary Research Article
Typically, a primary research article has the following sections:
The structure of the article will often be clearly shown with headings: Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion.
A primary research article will almost always contains statistics, numerical data presented in tables. Also, primary research articles are written in very formal, very technical language.