Definition of an empirical study: An empirical research article reports the results of a study that uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation. Empirical research articles are examples of primary research.
Parts of a standard empirical research article: (articles will not necessary use the exact terms listed below.)
- Abstract ... A paragraph length description of what the study includes.
- Introduction...Includes a statement of the hypotheses for the research and a review of other research on the topic.
- Method ...A description of how the research was conducted, such as:
◊ Who are participants
◊ Design of the study
◊ What the participants did
◊ What measures were used
- Results...Describes the outcomes of the measures of the study.
- Discussion...Contains the interpretations and implications of the study.
- References...Contains citation information on the material cited in the report. (also called bibliography or works cited)
Characteristics of an Empirical Article:
- Empirical articles will include charts, graphs, or statistical analysis.
- Empirical research articles are usually substantial, maybe from 8-30 pages long.
- There is always a bibliography found at the end of the article.
Type of publications that publish empirical studies:
- Empirical research articles are published in scholarly or academic journals
These journals are also called “peer-reviewed,” or “refereed” publications.
- Examples of such publications include:
◊ American Journal of Sociology
◊ Sociological Quarterly
◊ Sociological Methods and Research
Databases that contain empirical research: (selected list only)
- Academic Search Premier add these words to your search terms:
method* or research or research design or survey* or data or result*
- PsycINFO limit your searches by Form/Content Type to Empirical Study
- ERIC limit to Pub. Type to Reports - Research/Technical
Change one dropdown box to Record. This finds REPORTS--RESEARCH.
- Sociological Abstracts 1963 - present.
- Sports Discus Change search limit to Level = Advanced for original scientific research