How Can I Find Experimental (Empirical) Articles?
Many of the recommended databases in this research guide contain scholarly experimental articles (also known as empirical articles or research studies or primary research). Search in databases like:
Because those databases are rich in scholarly experimental articles, any well-structured search that you enter will retrieve experimental/empirical articles. These searches, for example, will retrieve many experimental/empirical articles:
Experimental (Empirical) Articles: How Will I Know One When I See One?
Scholarly Experimental Articles
To conduct and publish an experiment, 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.
In fact, newspapers, magazines, and Web sites written by journalists report on psychology research all the time, summarizing published experiments in non-technical language for the general public. Although that kind of article can be interesting to read (and can even lead you to look up the original experiment published by the researchers themselves), to write a research paper about a psychology topic, you should, generally, use experimental articles written by researchers.The following guidelines will help you recognize an experimental article, written by the researchers themselves and published in a scholarly journal.
Structure of a Experimental Article
Typically, an experimental article has the following sections:
Look for articles structured in that way--they will be experimental/empirical articles.
Also, experimental/empirical articles are written in very formal, technical language (even the titles of the articles sound complicated!) and will usually contain numerical data presented in tables.
As noted above, when you search in a database like APA PsycInfo, it's really easy to find experimental/empirical articles, once you know what you're looking for. Just in case, though, here is a shortcut that might help:
First, do your keyword search, for example:
In the results screen, on the left-hand side, scroll down until you see "Methodology." You can use that menu to refine your search by limiting the articles to empirical studies only:
You can learn learn more about advanced search techniques in APA PsycInfo here.