Research Guides@Tufts

  • Hirsh Health Sciences
  • Webster Veterinary

Guide to Scholarly Articles

  • What is a Scholarly Article?
  • Scholarly vs. Popular vs. Trade Articles

Types of Scholarly Articles

Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods articles, why does this matter.

  • Anatomy of Scholarly Articles
  • Tips for Reading Scholarly Articles

Scholarly articles come in many different formats each with their own function in the scholarly conversation. The following are a few of the major types of scholarly articles you are likely to encounter as you become a part of the conversation. Identifying the different types of scholarly articles and knowing their function will help you become a better researcher.

Original/Empirical Studies

  • Note: Empirical studies can be subdivided into qualitative studies, quantitative studies, or mixed methods studies. See below for more information  
  • Usefulness for research:  Empirical studies are useful because they provide current original research on a topic which may contain a hypothesis or interpretation to advance or to disprove. 

Literature Reviews

  • Distinguishing characteristic:  Literature reviews survey and analyze a clearly delaminated body of scholarly literature.  
  • Usefulness for research: Literature reviews are useful as a way to quickly get up to date on a particular topic of research.

Theoretical Articles

  • Distinguishing characteristic:  Theoretical articles draw on existing scholarship to improve upon or offer a new theoretical perspective on a given topic.
  • Usefulness for research:  Theoretical articles are useful because they provide a theoretical framework you can apply to your own research.

Methodological Articles

  • Distinguishing characteristic:  Methodological articles draw on existing scholarship to improve or offer new methodologies for exploring a given topic.
  • Usefulness for research:  Methodological articles are useful because they provide a methodologies you can apply to your own research.

Case Studies

  • Distinguishing characteristic:  Case studies focus on individual examples or instances of a phenomenon to illustrate a research problem or a a solution to a research problem.
  • Usefulness for research:  Case studies are useful because they provide information about a research problem or data for analysis.

Book Reviews

  • Distinguishing characteristic:  Book reviews provide summaries and evaluations of individual books.
  • Usefulness for research:  Book reviews are useful because they provide summaries and evaluations of individual books relevant to your research.

Adapted from the Publication manual of the American Psychological Association : the official guide to APA style. (Sixth edition.). (2013). American Psychological Association.

Qualitative articles  ask "why" questions where as  quantitative  articles  ask "how many/how much?" questions. These approaches are are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many articles combine the two in a  mixed-methods  approach. 

We can think of these different kinds of scholarly articles as different tools designed for different tasks. What research task do you need to accomplish? Do you need to get up to date on a give topic? Find a literature review. Do you need to find a hypothesis to test or to extend? Find an empirical study. Do you need to explore methodologies? Find a methodological article.

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  • Last Updated: Aug 23, 2023 8:53 AM
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Finding Types of Research

  • Evidence-Based Research

On This Guide

About this guide, understand evidence-based practice, identify research study types.

  • Quantitative Studies
  • Qualitative Studies
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Randomized Controlled Trials
  • Observational Studies
  • Literature Reviews
  • Finding Research Tools This link opens in a new window

Throughout your schooling, you may need to find different types of evidence and research to support your course work. This guide provides a high-level overview of evidence-based practice as well as the different types of research and study designs. Each page of this guide offers an overview and search tips for finding articles that fit that study design.

Note! If you need help finding a specific type of study, visit the  Get Research Help  page to contact the librarians.

What is Evidence-Based Practice?

One of the requirements for your coursework is to find articles that support evidence-based practice. But what exactly is evidence-based practice? Evidence-based practice is a method that uses relevant and current evidence to plan, implement and evaluate patient care. This definition is included in the video below, which explains all the steps of evidence-based practice in greater detail.

  • Video - Evidence-based practice: What it is and what it is not. Medcom (Producer), & Cobb, D. (Director). (2017). Evidence-based practice: What it is and what it is not [Streaming Video]. United States of America: Producer. Retrieved from Alexander Street Press Nursing Education Collection

Quantitative and Qualitative Studies

Research is broken down into two different types: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative studies are all about measurement. They will report statistics of things that can be physically measured like blood pressure, weight and oxygen saturation. Qualitative studies, on the other hand, are about people's experiences and how they feel about something. This type of information cannot be measured using statistics. Both of these types of studies report original research and are considered single studies. Watch the video below for more information.

Watch the Identifying Quantitative and Qualitative video

Study Designs

Some research study types that you will encounter include:

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies

Studies that Synthesize Other Studies

Sometimes, a research study will look at the results of many studies and look for trends and draw conclusions. These types of studies include:

  • Meta Analyses

Tip! How do you determine the research article's study type or level of evidence? First, look at the article abstract. Most of the time the abstract will have a methodology section, which should tell you what type of study design the researchers are using. If it is not in the abstract, look for the methodology section of the article. It should tell you all about what type of study the researcher is doing and the steps they used to carry out the study.

Read the book below to learn how to read a clinical paper, including the types of study designs you will encounter.

Understanding Clinical Papers Cover

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Articles, Books, and . . . ? Understanding the Many Types of Information Found in Libraries

  • Reference Sources

Academic Journals

Magazines and trade journals, conference papers, technical reports, anthologies.

  • Documents and Reports
  • Non-Text Content
  • Archival Materials

Because of their short length, articles often exclude background info and explanations, so they're usually the last stop in your research process, after you've narrowed down your topic and need to find very specific information.

The main thing to remember about articles is that they're almost always published in some larger work , like a journal, a newspaper, or an anthology. It's those "article containers" that define the types of articles, how you use them, and how you find them.

Articles are also the main reason we have so many databases . The Library Catalog lists everything we own, but only at the level of whole books and journals. It will tell you we have the New York Times, and for what dates, but it doesn't know what articles are in it. Search in UC Library Search using the "Articles, books, and more" scope will search all the databases we subscribe to and some we don't. If you find something we do not own, you can request it on Interlibrary Loan.

Physical Media

While newer journals and magazines are usually online, many older issues are still only available in paper. In addition, many of our online subscriptions explicitly don't include the latest material, specifically to encourage sales of print subscriptions. Older newspapers are usually transferred to microfilm.

Scholarly Sources

The terms academic or scholarly journal are usually synonymous with peer-reviewed , but check the journal's publishing policies to be sure. Trade journals, magazines, and newspapers are rarely peer-reviewed.

Primary or Secondary Sources

In the social sciences and humanities, articles are usually secondary sources; the exceptions are articles reporting original research findings from field studies. Primary source articles are more common in the physical and life sciences, where many articles are reporting primary research results from experiments, case studies, and clinical trials.

types of research your article library

Clues that you're reading an academic article

  • Abstract at beginning
  • Footnotes or endnotes
  • Bilbliography or list of references

Articles in academic (peer-reviewed) journals are the primary forum for scholarly communication, where scholars introduce and debate new ideas and research. They're usually not written for laymen, and assume familiarity with other recent work in the field. Journal articles also tend to be narrowly focused, concentrating on analysis of one or two creative works or studies, though they may also contain review articles or literature reviews which summarize recent published work in a field.

In addition to regular articles, academic journals often include book reviews (of scholarly books ) and letters from readers commenting on recent articles.

types of research your article library

Clues that you're reading a non -academic article

  • No abstract, footnotes or endnotes
  • Decorative photos
  • Advertisements

Unlike scholarly journals, magazines are written for a mainstream audience and are not peer-reviewed. A handful of academic journals (like Science and Nature ) blur the line between these two categories; they publish peer-reviewed articles, but combine them with news, opinions, and full-color photos in a magazine-style presentation.

Trade journals are targeted toward a specific profession or industry. Despite the name, they are usually not peer-reviewed. However, they sometimes represent a gray area between popular magazines and scholarly journals. When in doubt, ask your professor or TA whether a specific source is acceptable.

Newspapers as Primary Sources

Though usually written by journalists who were not direct witnesses to events, newspapers and news broadcasts may include quotes or interviews from people who were. In the absence of first-person accounts, contemporary news reports may be the closest thing to a primary source available.

Of all the content types listed here, newspapers are the fastest to publish. Use newspaper articles to find information about recent events and contemporary reports of/reactions to historic events.

types of research your article library

  • News by UCLA Library Last Updated Nov 17, 2023 11995 views this year

Reviews are a type of article that can appear in any of the categories above. The type of publication will usually determine the type of review. Newspapers and magazines review movies, plays, general interest books, and consumer products. Academic journals review scholarly books.

Note that a review is not the same as scholarly analysis and criticism! Book reviews, even in scholarly journals, are usually not peer-reviewed.

types of research your article library

Conference papers aren't always published and can be tricky to find . Recent conference papers are often online, along with the PowerPoint files or other materials used in the actual presentation. However, access may be limited to conference participants and/or members of the academic organization which sponsored the conference.

In paper formats, all of the papers from a certain conference may be re-printed in the conference proceedings . Search for Proceedings of the [name of conference] to find what's available, or ask for help from a librarian. But be aware that published proceedings may only include abstracts or even just the name of the presenter and the title of the presentation. This is especially true of poster presentations , which really are large graphic posters (which don't translate well to either printed books or computer monitors).

As the name implies, most technical reports are about research in the physical sciences or engineering. However, there are also technical reports produced in the life and social sciences,

types of research your article library

Like conference papers , some technical reports are eventually transformed into academic journal articles , but they may also be released after a journal article to provide supplementary data that didn't fit within the article. Also like conference papers, technical reports can be hard to find , especially older reports which may only be available in microfiche . Ask for help from a librarian!

Anthologies are a cross-over example. They're books that contain articles (chapters). Anthologies may be collections of articles by a single author, or collections of articles on a theme from different authors chosen by an editor. Many anthologies reprint articles already published elsewhere, but some contain original works.

Anthologies are rarely peer-reviewed, but they still may be considered scholarly works, depending on the reputation of the authors and editors. Use the same criteria listed for scholarly books .

Of course, reprints of articles originally published in peer-reviewed journals retain their "scholarly" status. (Note that most style manuals have special rules for citing reprinted works.)

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  • Last Updated: Sep 26, 2023 4:13 PM
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Intro to Library Research

  • Getting Focused
  • Finding Books
  • Searching for Articles
  • Types of Articles
  • Primary Sources This link opens in a new window
  • Evaluating Resources
  • Citation Help This link opens in a new window
  • How-To Videos This link opens in a new window

Ask a Librarian

JKM Librarians are available to help you in multiple ways:

  • In person at the Reference Desk
  • Chat or Text
  • By appointment

We are here to support you and your academic needs, so if you have any questions about how to use the library's resources or about how to start your research please ask us!

  • Popular Magazines & Newspapers
  • Trade Journals
  • Scholarly Journal Articles
  • Published daily or weekly
  • Intended for a broad audience
  • Articles are written by journalists and go through a general editorial process
  • The purpose of articles is to entertain, report news, or summarize information
  • Usually do not contain a works cited list or bibliography, but may name or refer to sources through the article's text
  • Examples include:  The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time, etc.

types of research your article library

  • Published biweekly or monthly
  • Written for those working within a specific field 
  • Articles are usually written by industry/business representatives to inform members of specific trades or professions about events, techniques, and/or professional issues
  • Articles go through a general editorial process and may contain a bibliography
  • Examples include:  Advertising Age, Publisher's Weekly, This Old House, etc. 

types of research your article library

  • Usually published monthly or quarterly, but may also be published at other intervals
  • Articles are written by researchers and subject experts
  • Articles are peer reviewed, meaning that the methodology, content, and conclusions are reviewed by other scholars/experts in the field before publication.  The goal of peer review is to ensure high academic quality.
  • Scholarly articles are the primary means of communication between researchers to report the most recent research and findings in an academic field 
  • References are usually provided
  • Published by university presses or professional organizations
  • Examples include:  The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Harvard Business Review

types of research your article library

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  • Next: Primary Sources >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 27, 2023 1:35 PM
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  • Working with sources

How to Find Sources | Scholarly Articles, Books, Etc.

Published on June 13, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan . Revised on May 31, 2023.

It’s important to know how to find relevant sources when writing a  research paper , literature review , or systematic review .

The types of sources you need will depend on the stage you are at in the research process , but all sources that you use should be credible , up to date, and relevant to your research topic.

There are three main places to look for sources to use in your research:

Research databases

  • Your institution’s library
  • Other online resources

Table of contents

Library resources, other online sources, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about finding sources.

You can search for scholarly sources online using databases and search engines like Google Scholar . These provide a range of search functions that can help you to find the most relevant sources.

If you are searching for a specific article or book, include the title or the author’s name. Alternatively, if you’re just looking for sources related to your research problem , you can search using keywords. In this case, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the scope of your project and of the most relevant keywords.

Databases can be general (interdisciplinary) or subject-specific.

  • You can use subject-specific databases to ensure that the results are relevant to your field.
  • When using a general database or search engine, you can still filter results by selecting specific subjects or disciplines.

Example: JSTOR discipline search filter

Filtering by discipline

Check the table below to find a database that’s relevant to your research.

Google Scholar

To get started, you might also try Google Scholar , an academic search engine that can help you find relevant books and articles. Its “Cited by” function lets you see the number of times a source has been cited. This can tell you something about a source’s credibility and importance to the field.

Example: Google Scholar “Cited by” function

Google Scholar cited by function

Boolean operators

Boolean operators can also help to narrow or expand your search.

Boolean operators are words and symbols like AND , OR , and NOT that you can use to include or exclude keywords to refine your results. For example, a search for “Nietzsche NOT nihilism” will provide results that include the word “Nietzsche” but exclude results that contain the word “nihilism.”

Many databases and search engines have an advanced search function that allows you to refine results in a similar way without typing the Boolean operators manually.

Example: Project Muse advanced search

Project Muse advanced search

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The AI-powered Citation Checker helps you avoid common mistakes such as:

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types of research your article library

You can find helpful print sources in your institution’s library. These include:

  • Journal articles
  • Encyclopedias
  • Newspapers and magazines

Make sure that the sources you consult are appropriate to your research.

You can find these sources using your institution’s library database. This will allow you to explore the library’s catalog and to search relevant keywords. You can refine your results using Boolean operators .

Once you have found a relevant print source in the library:

  • Consider what books are beside it. This can be a great way to find related sources, especially when you’ve found a secondary or tertiary source instead of a primary source .
  • Consult the index and bibliography to find the bibliographic information of other relevant sources.

You can consult popular online sources to learn more about your topic. These include:

  • Crowdsourced encyclopedias like Wikipedia

You can find these sources using search engines. To refine your search, use Boolean operators in combination with relevant keywords.

However, exercise caution when using online sources. Consider what kinds of sources are appropriate for your research and make sure the sites are credible .

Look for sites with trusted domain extensions:

  • URLs that end with .edu are educational resources.
  • URLs that end with .gov are government-related resources.
  • DOIs often indicate that an article is published in a peer-reviewed , scientific article.

Other sites can still be used, but you should evaluate them carefully and consider alternatives.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing


  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

You can find sources online using databases and search engines like Google Scholar . Use Boolean operators or advanced search functions to narrow or expand your search.

For print sources, you can use your institution’s library database. This will allow you to explore the library’s catalog and to search relevant keywords.

It is important to find credible sources and use those that you can be sure are sufficiently scholarly .

  • Consult your institute’s library to find out what books, journals, research databases, and other types of sources they provide access to.
  • Look for books published by respected academic publishing houses and university presses, as these are typically considered trustworthy sources.
  • Look for journals that use a peer review process. This means that experts in the field assess the quality and credibility of an article before it is published.

When searching for sources in databases, think of specific keywords that are relevant to your topic , and consider variations on them or synonyms that might be relevant.

Once you have a clear idea of your research parameters and key terms, choose a database that is relevant to your research (e.g., Medline, JSTOR, Project MUSE).

Find out if the database has a “subject search” option. This can help to refine your search. Use Boolean operators to combine your keywords, exclude specific search terms, and search exact phrases to find the most relevant sources.

There are many types of sources commonly used in research. These include:

You’ll likely use a variety of these sources throughout the research process , and the kinds of sources you use will depend on your research topic and goals.

Scholarly sources are written by experts in their field and are typically subjected to peer review . They are intended for a scholarly audience, include a full bibliography, and use scholarly or technical language. For these reasons, they are typically considered credible sources .

Popular sources like magazines and news articles are typically written by journalists. These types of sources usually don’t include a bibliography and are written for a popular, rather than academic, audience. They are not always reliable and may be written from a biased or uninformed perspective, but they can still be cited in some contexts.

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If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Ryan, E. (2023, May 31). How to Find Sources | Scholarly Articles, Books, Etc.. Scribbr. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from

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Scholarly Publishing

  • Discounts and Funding for U-M Authors
  • Preparing to Publish
  • Publishing an Article
  • Publishing a Book
  • After Acceptance: Contracts & Impact
  • Copyright Considerations

Copyright Questions?

The University of Michigan Library Copyright Office provides help with copyright questions for University of Michigan faculty, staff and students. Please email us with questions or visit our website for more information.

Legal Advice

The information presented here is intended for informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have specific legal questions pertaining to the University of Michigan, please contact the Office of the General Counsel .

If you require legal advice in your personal capacity, the lawyer referral services operated by the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the State Bar of Michigan may be helpful to you.

Types of Articles

Primary research results may be published in a variety of ways. For example:

  • A Letter or Brief Communication provides timely release of important research results in a brief format. Typically this is followed by a full research article.
  • Review Article
  • Scoping Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Conference Proceedings are used for partially finished or ongoing research. Conference proceedings are usually associated with oral presentations or posters at professional conferences.

Identifying a Journal

Things to consider.

These questions can help you to identify appropriate journals or conference proceedings in your field:

  • What is the audience for my article? Where does that audience go when they want to read something new in their field?
  • Are there professional societies or organizations for my field? Or perhaps conferences, annual meetings, or other events?
  • Where have colleagues in my field submitted their work?
  • Where was the material I cited in my article published?
  • If I wanted to read articles on a similar topic, where would I find them?
  • Journal publishers typically have a page or section defining their topical scope. See, for example, the "Mission" in the author guidelines for the Journal of Communication .
  • Is the journal accessible to users of all abilities?
  • What is the journal’s impact and reputation?
  • What are the journal’s policies related to submission, open access, and data sharing?

Be realistic about your journal selection (don’t aim too high or too low), but don't let fear of rejection guide your choice.

These resources and the strategies further below are good starting points for finding relevant journals in your discipline.

  • Cabell's Whitelist . This database provides information about journals’ areas of focus, acceptance rates, and submission policies. As of 2018, the University of Michigan subscribes to the database for education and library science journals.
  • Journal / Author Name Estimator . This tool allows you to compare your work to published articles in PubMed to approximate possible publication venues for work in the health sciences.
  • MLA Directory of Periodicals . This resource within the MLA International Bibliography describes the scope of journals in many areas of literature and language study, including circulation figures, submission guidelines, information on whether or not journals are peer reviewed, and publication statistics.
  • Subject Specialists at the University of Michigan Library . Librarians in your subject area can help you work through the questions above and find other scholarship in your field. They may also be able to help you find discipline-specific resources on where to publish.
  • U-M Library Search . Use Library Search to discover databases in your discipline and access full text using your U-M credentials. Disciplinary indexes and databases are the best way to find articles like your own, and every subject area has its own specialized resources.

Search general databases like  Web of Science  and  Scopus  to identify journals that publishing articles on your topic. See  a list of U-M databases  or  Research Guides  for your discipline for more specific databases.

  • Search  Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory , which provides bibliographic and publisher information on more than 300,000 periodicals of all types.
  • Scan online lists of journals within specific disciplines (e.g., a comprehensive  Chemistry Journal list  from a researcher at the University of Cambridge).
  • Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE)  - for journals included in the  MEDLINE  database
  • Elsevier Journal Finder
  • BioMed Central Journal Selector
  • Check the list of references you have been reading for your research and identify the journals where your peer researchers publish articles on the topic of interest.

Note: For a comprehensive resource on article publishing (written from a biological sciences perspective, but widely applicable), see:

Cover art of the book "How to Publish in the Biological Sciences"

Measey, J. (2022).  How to Publish in Biological Sciences  (1st Edition). CRC Press.

Evaluating a Journal

Narrowing the selection.

Consider the following to narrow down your selection of journals: 

  • Editorial board.  Look at the journal's editorial board. Are any of its members in your sub-field?
  • Article "fit".  Look at a few issues of the journal and the information provided on the journal’s webpage. Does your article fit within the journal’s typical subject areas and scope? Does the methodology of your work fit what this journal typically publishes? (e.g. quantitative, qualitative, case study, survey, meta-analysis, etc.)? Journals that publish articles on similar topics to yours are likely to be read most heavily by researchers with similar interests.
  • Journal Metrics.  Are metrics like impact factor or Eigenfactor important in your discipline? If so, sources like these can help locate the relevant metrics for journals you are considering:
  • Journal Citation Reports  - Available through a U-M subscription, Journal Citation Reports can be used to determine the impact factor (IF) of a journal and how the journal is ranked among other journals in the same discipline
  •  - A free and searchable database, Eigenfactor covers the natural and social sciences. 
  • You may find more ways of ranking journals from the  Citation Analysis Guide page (Journal Ranking tab) .
  • Who is on the journal's editorial board or publishing in the journal? Are they recognized scholars in your field?
  • Examine  Google Scholar Metrics  or  Google Scholar Citations , if available.
  • Is the journal indexed in databases relevant to your field? (e.g. JSTOR, Web of Science, MLA, etc.)
  • Is the journal affiliated with a professional organization, scholarly society, or conference relevant to your subject area?

Other criteria

Other criteria to keep in mind when considering where to publish your research include:

  • Acceptance rate.  A journal's acceptance may be difficult to determine, though some journals do mention it on their About or FAQs pages. For example, Science's acceptance rate is  less than 7% , Nature's acceptance rate is  around 8% , and PNAS's acceptance rate is  around 17%  . If you cannot find the acceptance rate for the journal in which you are interested, you can contact the editor of the journal or ask a senior researcher in your field about their experience with the journal. Read more about acceptance rate on  this guide page  from the University of North Texas Library.
  • Turn-around time.  Turn-around time is often specified on the journal's About or FAQs page. Turn-around time may be different for different types of articles (e.g., shorter for a Letter than a full Article in the same journal). 
  • Peer review.  Peer review may be single-blind, double-blind, or triple-blind; find out by looking at the journal's About or FAQs page. Sometimes, a journal may ask reviewers to judge the soundness of the methodology and not the perceived importance of the work (e.g.  PLoS ONE ).
  • Self-archiving.  Find out if a journal allows you to deposit a version of your manuscript into an institutional repository (e.g.,  Deep Blue ) or a repository designated by your funding agency (e.g.,  PubMed Central  by NIH). This information is usually located on the journal's Author's Rights page.

Meet basic requirements

Make sure your submission meets the publisher's basic requirements. Most journals provide instructions online for authors. Read them carefully and follow specific instructions such as word limits, preferred citation styles, document formatting, file types, etc. If you're not sure about where you'd like to submit but you have a target publication in mind, work from the author requirements for you target publisher from the start to make it easier to submit your work for publication (and prevent headaches) later on.

Predatory Journals

Some open access journals exist only to extract article processing/publication fees and provide no "value-added" services in return (e.g., rigorous peer review, professional formatting, indexing in major databases, etc.). Keep these things in mind when considering where to publish:

  • Reputable journals and conferences  don’t make cold calls . Be exceedingly wary of unsolicited calls for proposals sent to you via email by people you do not know.
  • Consider the entity suspect if questions about peer review, selection criteria, fees, business models, or organizational affiliation  cannot be answered . Do not agree to submit manuscripts to, review submissions for, or join the editorial board of a journal you are not intimately familiar with. Speak to editors, other authors, and staff to determine if a journal or conference is legitimate.
  • Fact check any claims  made by the publisher or conference organizer. If they list someone as a member of their editorial board, confirm that with the person in question. If they claim an impact factor or inclusion in a disciplinary index, independently confirm those details.
  • Make sure your  own professional online presence is accurate and up to date . Having correct information about yourself on a departmental, institutional, or personal website is the best way to combat your name appearing on disreputable journal editorial boards or conference sites. Make it easier for others to perform the kind of due diligence described  above.
  • Talk to your colleagues  about how to avoid being duped by predatory publishers. These publishers typically trick unsuspecting academics—sometimes even respected, senior scholars—into recruiting colleagues for suspect editorial boards or soliciting their own networks for article submissions.
  • When in doubt about the authenticity of a journal or conference,  talk to a librarian . The best defense against being duped by a predatory publisher is a strong understanding of the publishing landscape in your own field. To learn more about where and how scholars in your discipline share their work, contact  your librarian .
  • Be wary also if the promised submission-to-publication  delay seems too short  for sufficient peer review or article processing/publication  fees are not mentioned  until after the article has been accepted.

Note: This material was adapted from Meredith Kahn, " Sharing your scholarship while avoiding the predators: Guidelines for medical physicists interested in open access publishing ," Medical Physics 41, no. 7 (July 2014). Licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Peer Review for Articles

"Peer review" is the process by which "peers" —those who possess the appropriate expertise— review a manuscript submitted for publication in order to assess the suitability of the manuscript for publication. The process starts when an author submits an article to a journal. Typically a managing editor determines if it is suitable for review. If not, the submission is immediately rejected without being sent out to peer reviewers. If it is suitable, the submission is distributed to peer reviewers.

Peer reviewers then recommend acceptance without revision, acceptance pending revision, or rejection. If revisions are required, the author will make revisions and resubmit the revised article to the managing editor. If the managing editor or peer reviewers determine if revisions are sufficient, the article is accepted for publication (though additional revisions may be required). Alternatively, the article may be rejected.

Few articles are accepted without revisions. Being asked to revise your work is a foundational practice in scholarly publishing, and often results in the work being stronger after it has undergone review.

This article provides insight into what reviewers are looking for when they evaluate article submissions:

How to Review a Paper, by Dale J. Benos, Kevin L. Kirk, and John E. Hall . Though focused on the sciences, the guidelines it contains can be useful to authors in many disciplines.

Suggesting Peer Reviewers

Many journals ask for a list of potential peer reviewers for your article. Consider these suggestions in recommending potential peer reviewers:

  • DO suggest researchers whom you frequently cite in your article. 
  • DO suggest researchers with whom you have had positive interactions with in the past, such as during a conference poster session. 
  • DON'T suggest personal friends, close colleagues (i.e., people with whom you've published in the last 5 years), former supervisors, or individuals who have previously read and provided feedback on your article. 
  • DON'T suggest only the biggest names in your field. 
  • Keep in mind that the journal editor may not follow your suggestions. They may choose not to send your article to a reviewer who is notoriously slow, brash, or does not provide solid reasoning behind his/her criticisms. 
  • Some journals may also ask for a list of individuals who should NOT review your article. These might be researchers who have strong, opposing viewpoints or individuals with whom you have had negative interactions with in the past. Be sure to keep this list relatively short. 

For further guidance, see  Guidelines for suggesting peer reviewers for manuscripts . John Dolbow, iMechanica (2008).

Responding to Peer Review

The editor of a journal can be a valuable source of guidance in responding to peer review. Here is some additional guidance:

  • Provide point-by-point replies to each of the reviewers' comments. Indicate whether or how you changed your article to address each of the comments. If you disagree with a reviewer, explain the reason for your disagreement.
  • Be brief. Shorter responses convey that the comment was easily addressed and does not present a major problem.
  • If a reviewer was confused or mistaken about something in your article, this suggests that this part of the article needs to be edited or rewritten for clarification. If the reviewer was confused, other readers may also be confused.

These resources may also be helpful for understanding and responding to peer review:

  • Min, S.-K. (2022). Critical Tips on How to Respond to Peer Reviewers . Vascular Specialist International , 38 , 8.
  • How to Receive and Respond to Peer Review Feedback . (2020, September 18). PLOS.
  • Noble, W. S. (2017). Ten simple rules for writing a response to reviewers . PLoS Computational Biology , 13 (10).
  • Annesley, T. M. (2011). Top 10 Tips for Responding to Reviewer and Editor Comments . Clinical Chemistry , 57 (4), 551–554.
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Brown University Homepage

Finding Information

Introduction, types of resources, choosing types of resources, further reading, learning objectives, attribution.

  • Google vs. Research Databases: What's the Difference?
  • Find ebooks
  • Find Articles
  • Find Newspaper Articles
  • Find Images
  • Getting Copies of Articles and Books You Can't Find

This page was designed to help you:

  • Identify different information formats
  • Understand that different types of resources can be used for different purposes


A range of material that can be general or focused on a single topic. They’re great for quick consultation and can help give you the background you need to begin your research. They include:

  • Almanacs and yearbooks (data, numbers, or facts on a specific topic)
  • Bibliographies (recommended readings on a certain topic)
  • Dictionaries and glossaries (meanings of terms and concepts, often within a specific field)
  • Encyclopedias (concise description of a topic)
  • Handbooks (overview of academic research on a topic)
  • Geographical sources (materials such as maps, atlases, bibliographies, and more)
  • Manuals (how-to guides to research methods)


Long format resources that provide comprehensive information on a topic. Books are critical resources for studying the humanities in particular, and they offer important in-depth context for topics across the social sciences and sciences as well. Academic libraries contain both fiction (works of the imagination) to be analyzed, as well as non-fiction (fact-based works). Because there is usually a long amount of time between writing and publishing, books are not a good source for the most current information. Types of books include:

  • Monographs (single topic, often single author)
  • Series (multiple volumes published over time on a specific topics or area of study)
  • Anthologies (collections of content on a single topic)
  • Textbooks (contain facts, theories, and knowledge on a particular subject)


International, national, and local coverage of issues and events for a particular region, often with a distinct editorial perspective. Newspapers are important resources for current information, personal accounts, opinions on issues, and coverage of popular topics in a given community.


A collection of articles within a particular subject area that are published regularly. The frequency of publication can be an indicator of how current the information is. Journals are more up to date than books and are a good place to find the latest research on a subject. In general, journals assign a volume number to indicate each year and an issue number for each publication during that year.  Journals contain articles written by different authors. Journals may be popular, scholarly, or trade oriented.


Articles are typically reviews or research papers written by academics or other experts on a given topic. They are most often peer-reviewed, which means that other experts have rigorously reviewed the content to ensure that it is valid. Articles provide details on research and often include methods and results. Journal articles examine more specific topics and are excellent to use for in-depth research.


Collections of information in a searchable format. This where you find journal articles. Each Library database has a specific content focus and offers the ability to fine-tune search results. These specialized, scholarly resources are often licensed by the University for your use. In order to access many of these resources you must be logged into Shibboleth with your Brown login credentials.


Unique items that were created or collected that provide evidence of a time or process. These materials are typically used as primary sources.


Significant research projects that are submitted for academic degrees. Dissertations are completed for doctoral degrees, and theses are completed for masters degrees and some bachelor degrees. The work reflects new scholarship on a topic. Dissertations are available from universities around the world. These are often lengthy, detailed works on a focused topic.

When you are getting started with your research, think about what it is that you need to know next before you can move forward with your research.

Here is an example of the decision making steps to find the type of information resource for the research need:

The topic is new to me and I want to find background information:  Reference materials are a great place to start your research.

The topic has been in the news and I want to find out more:  Consider finding a newspaper article that references an expert or research study. You can then search for that information in a database.

I know about the topic and want to find academic scholarship that has been published recently:  Research databases contain articles form scholarly journals, including the most current research.

  • Cortada, J. W. (2016). All the facts: A history of information in the United States since 1870 . New York. Oxford University Press.

Icons by Noun Project: Reference by Justin Blake licensed under CC BY 3.0 represents reference,   ebook by ProSymbols licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents books and ebooks,  Newspaper by Kokota  licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents newspapers, Magazine by Diego Naive licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents academic journal,  A cademic Paper by Silviu Ojog licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents journal articles,  Search Folder by Vectorstall licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents research databases,  Library by GreenHill  licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents special collections materials,  Thesis by Vectors Point licensed under  CC BY 3.0  represents theses and dissertations

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moBUL - Mobile Brown University Library

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Princeton University Library

  • Background Information
  • Find Articles
  • Get the Full Text of a Journal Article
  • Why Can't I Find That Article?

Library Research Methods

  • Evaluating Websites
  • Citing Sources
  • Productivity Tools for Scholars

(Adapted from Thomas Mann, Library Research Models )

Keyword searches . Search relevant keywords in catalogs, indexes, search engines, and full-text resources. Useful both to narrow a search to the specific subject heading and to find sources not captured under a relevant subject heading. To search a database effectively, start with a Keyword search, find relevant records, and then find relevant Subject Headings. In search engines, include many keywords to narrow the search and carefully evaluate what you find.

Subject searches .  Subject Headings (sometimes called Descriptors) are specific terms or phrases used consistently by online or print indexes to describe what a book or journal article is about. This is true of the library’s Catalog as well as many other library databases . 

Look for recent, scholarly books and articles. Within catalogs and databases, sort by the most recent date and look for books from scholarly presses and articles from scholarly journals. The more recent the source, the more up-to-date the references and citations.

Citation searches in scholarly sources .  Track down references, footnotes, endnotes, citations, etc. within relevant readings. Search for specific books or journals in the library’s Catalog . This technique helps you become part of the scholarly conversation on a particular topic.

Searches through published bibliographies (including sets of footnotes in relevant subject documents).  Published bibliographies on particular subjects (Shakespeare, alcoholism, etc.) often list sources missed through other kinds of searches. BIBLIOGRAPHY is a subject heading in the Catalog , so a Guided Search with BIBLIOGRAPHY as a Subject and your topic as a keyword will help you find these.

Searches through people sources (whether by verbal contact, e-mail, etc.). People are often more willing to help than you might think. The people to start with are often professors with relevant knowledge or librarians.

Systematic browsing, especially of full-text sources arranged in predictable subject groupings . Libraries organize books by subject, with similar books shelved together.  Browsing the stacks is a good way to find similar books; however, in large libraries, some books are not in the main stacks (e.g., they might be checked out or in ReCAP), so use the catalog as well.

The advantages of trying all these research methods are that:

Each of these ways of searching is applicable in any subject area

None of them is confined exclusively to English-language sources

Each has both strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages

The weaknesses within any one method are balanced by the strengths of the others

The strength of each is precisely that it is capable of turning up information or knowledge records that cannot be found efficiently—or often even at all—by any of the others

How to Gut a (Scholarly) Book in 5 Almost-easy Steps

Evaluating sources.

From Wayne C. Booth et al., The Craft of Research , 4th ed., pp.76-79

5.4 EVALUATING SOURCES FOR RELEVANCE AND RELIABILITY When you start looking for sources, you’ll find more than you can use, so you must quickly evaluate their usefulness; use two criteria: relevance and reliability.

5.4.1 Evaluating Sources for Relevance

If your source is a book, do this:

  • Skim its index for your key words, then skim the pages on which those words occur.
  • Skim the first and last paragraphs in chapters that use a lot of your key words.
  • Skim prologues, introductions, summary chapters, and so on.
  • Skim the last chapter, especially the >rst and last two or three pages.
  • If the source is a collection of articles, skim the editor’s introduction.
  • Check the bibliography for titles relevant to your topic.

If your source is an article, do this:

  • Read the abstract, if it has one.
  • Skim the introduction and conclusion, or if they are not marked by headings, skim the first six or seven paragraphs and the last four or five.
  • Skim for section headings, and read the first and last paragraphs of those sections.

If your source is online, do this:

  • If it looks like a printed article, follow the steps for a journal article.
  • Skim sections labeled “introduction,” “overview,” “summary,” or the like. If there are none, look for a link labeled “About the Site” or something similar.
  • If the site has a link labeled “Site Map” or “Index,” check it for your key words and skim the referenced pages.
  • If the site has a “search” resource, type in your key words.

This kind of speedy reading can guide your own writing and revision. If you do not structure your report so your readers can skim it quickly and see the outlines of your argument, your report has a problem, an issue we discuss in chapters 12 and 14.

5.4.2 Evaluating Sources for Reliability You can’t judge a source until you read it, but there are signs of its reliability:

1. Is the source published or posted online by a reputable press? Most university presses are reliable, especially if you recognize the name of the university. Some commercial presses are reliable in some fields, such as Norton in literature, Ablex in sciences, or West in law. Be skeptical of a commercial book that makes sensational claims, even if its author has a PhD after his name. Be especially careful about sources on hotly contested social issues such as stem-cell research, gun control, and global warming. Many books and articles are published by individuals or organizations driven by ideology. Libraries often include them for the sake of coverage, but don’t assume they are reliable.

2. Was the book or article peer-reviewed? Most reputable presses and journals ask experts to review a book or article before it is published; it is called “peer review.” Many essay collections, however, are reviewed only by the named editor(s). Few commercial magazines use peer review. If a publication hasn’t been peer-reviewed, be suspicious.

3. Is the author a reputable scholar? This is hard to answer if you are new to a field. Most publications cite an author’s academic credentials; you can find more with a search engine. Most established scholars are reliable, but be cautious if the topic is a contested social issue such as gun control or abortion. Even reputable scholars can have axes to grind, especially if their research is financially supported by a special interest group. Go online to check out anyone an author thanks for support, including foundations that supported her work.

4. If the source is available only online, is it sponsored by a reputable organization? A Web site is only as reliable as its sponsor. You can usually trust one sponsored and maintained by a reputable organization. But if the site has not been updated recently, it may have been abandoned and is no longer endorsed by its sponsor. Some sites supported by individuals are reliable; most are not. Do a Web search for the name of the sponsor to find out more about it.

5. Is the source current? You must use up-to-date sources, but what counts as current depends on the field. In computer science, a journal article can be out-of-date in months; in the social sciences, ten years pushes the limit. Publications have a longer life in the humanities: in philosophy, primary sources are current for centuries, secondary ones for decades. In general, a source that sets out a major position or theory that other researchers accept will stay current longer than those that respond to or develop it. Assume that most textbooks are not current (except, of course, this one).

If you don’t know how to gauge currency in your field, look at the dates of articles in the works cited of a new book or article: you can cite works as old as the older ones in that list (but perhaps not as old as the oldest). Try to find a standard edition of primary works such as novels, plays, letters, and so on (it is usually not the most recent). Be sure that you consult the most recent edition of a secondary or tertiary source (researchers often change their views, even rejecting ones they espoused in earlier editions).

6. If the source is a book, does it have a notes and a bibliography? If not, be suspicious, because you have no way to follow up on anything the source claims.

7. If the source is a Web site, does it include bibliographical data? You cannot know how to judge the reliability of a site that does not indicate who sponsors and maintains it, who wrote what’s posted there, and when it was posted or last updated.

8. If the source is a Web site, does it approach its topic judiciously? Your readers are unlikely to trust a site that engages in heated advocacy, attacks those who disagree, makes wild claims, uses abusive language, or makes errors of spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

The following criteria are particularly important for advanced students:

9. If the source is a book, has it been well reviewed? Many fields have indexes to published reviews that tell you how others evaluate a source.

10. Has the source been frequently cited by others? You can roughly estimate how influential a source is by how often others cite it. To determine that, consult a citation index.

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Molecular Biology And Biochemistry

  • Types of Research Articles
  • Encyclopedias & Other Reference
  • Protocols & Methods
  • Dissertations
  • Cite What You Find

Contact us with questions:

  • Contact a Librarian via email, telephone, or in person.
  • Make an appointment with a specialist in your subject area to get in-depth one-on-one assistance.

Scientific Literature

Scientific research is usually reported in peer reviewed journals or as conference proceedings. For your research, you'll likely use the journal literature.

What's peer review? Evaluation by others working in the same field.

NCSU Libraries provides an excellent three-minute explanation here .

Primary Research Articles* (original research articles)

Research articles report the results of research activity or findings. The author explains why and how the research was done and what the results mean. Published in peer reviewed or referreed publications (journals). Research articles are primary sources.

Parts of a research article:

  • Author affiliation
  • Abstract (summary)
  • Introduction (importance and context of the research, hypothesis)
  • Methods (research procedure or experiment)
  • Results (data, outcomes of research)
  • Discussion (interprets the results, compares to previous work)
  • Conclusion (importance of the results; future directions)
  • Acknowledgements (people, organizations, funders who contributed to the work)
  • References (list of sources used)

* Supplementary materials including data are often available online.

Communications and Letters

Concise reports of recent, significant research findings. Authors want to publish before someone else publishes similar findings. The focus is on rapid communication and broad dissemination. Communications are published in peer reviewed journals. Communications and letters are primary sources.

Examples: Chemical Communications, Physical Review Letters , and the Letters sections of journals such as Nature and Science .

Review Articles^

Review articles attempt to summarize and synthesize prior research. These articles can provide useful background about the major developments, important contributors, gaps in research, and current debates on a particular topic and may suggest future directions for research. Review articles are a great way to identify key articles and provide lots of references or citations. They are published in peer reviewed journals. Review articles are considered secondary sources because the author did not conduct the research.

^ Most databases/indexes such as the Science Citation Index or PubMed allow you to select "Review" as a document type or article type.

Conference Proceedings or Proceedings

Describe research presented at a conference. Conference proceedings may be long papers or limited to an abstract. These publications may or may not be peer reviewed. The Conference Proceedings Citation Index- Science (CPCI-S) is an option on the search page for the Science Citation Index .

Pre-Print or Post-Print

A pre-print is the original version of a manuscript prior to peer review and formatting.

A post-print is the final version of the manuscript submitted for publication.

Published version/PDF is the version of record with full formatting and copyediting.

Example of pre-print repositories: (pronounced like "archive")

What's in a name?

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a peer reviewed journal with original research articles - not conference proceedings.

Physical Review Letters are rapid communications or letters - not review articles.

When in doubt, ask a faculty member, graduate student, or librarian.

Is your Article a Primary Research Article?

Heritability of Attractiveness to Mosquitoes

G. Mandela Fernández-Grandon, Salvador A. Gezan, John A. L. Armour, John A. Pickett, James G. Logan

  • Published: April 22, 2015
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122716

Female mosquitoes display preferences for certain individuals over others, which is determined by differences in volatile chemicals produced by the human body and detected by mosquitoes. Body odour can be controlled genetically but the existence of a genetic basis for differential attraction to insects has never been formally demonstrated. This study investigated heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes by evaluating the response of Aedes aegypti (= Stegomyia aegypti ) mosquitoes to odours from the hands of identical and non-identical twins in a dual-choice assay. Volatiles from individuals in an identical twin pair showed a high correlation in attractiveness to mosquitoes, while non-identical twin pairs showed a significantly lower correlation. Overall, there was a strong narrow-sense heritability of 0.62 (SE 0.124) for relative attraction and 0.67 (0.354) for flight activity based on the average of ten measurements. The results demonstrate an underlying genetic component detectable by mosquitoes through olfaction. Understanding the genetic basis for attractiveness could create a more informed approach to repellent development.

Citation: Fernández-Grandon GM, Gezan SA, Armour JAL, Pickett JA, Logan JG (2015) Heritability of Attractiveness to Mosquitoes. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0122716. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122716

Primary Research Article (PDF)

PDFs are the preferred format for articles. It is worth finding the link to the PDF so that the layout of images and text is accurate. Also you can download PDFs. 

types of research your article library

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types of research your article library

  • Research Guides
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  • Identifying Article Types

EDUC 4605 Course Guide:Identifying Article Types

  • Your Course Bookshelf
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Scholarly Article Types

Academic/scholarly journals.

When researching a topic one crucial set of resources to consider are academic or scholarly journals where expert professional researchers and scholars publish their research in articles. Many of these publications are peer reviewed which help maintain quality and accuracy of the content published. You can search our library databases for scholarly and peer reviewed articles for use in your research papers.

Article Types

Within scholarly journals you will find different types of articles. Depending on your needs, knowing these different types will help you find the resources you need for your research. These types include:

Literature Reviews

  • Research Articles (aka Empirical Articles)
  • Case Studies
  • Meta Analysis
  • Theoretical or Conceptual, and Professional Communications
  • Book Reviews
  • Letters to the Editor

See the video below for a quick overview of these types.

Identifying Empirical Research Articles

Research articles all follow a similar structure. You can identify articles of this type by looking at the sections they contain. Most research articles contain the following sections:

  • Header 
  • Introduction 
  • Methods 
  • Results 
  • Discussion 
  • Conclusion 
  • References 

Here's a video discussing the main parts of an empirical research article (Introduction, methods, results, and discussion):

  • Call: 361-825-2340
  • Text: 361-726-4986
  • Visit the Circulation Desk in Bell Library

Literature Review Articles

Another good source of research articles is Literature Reviews. Literature reviews gathers academic articles that discuss a group of research projects implemented in a certain area as they pertain to answering a specific research question. These articles will contain references to original research all done to answer a specific question. Reading literature reviews will give you an idea of the the work done in one specific area as well as one professional perspective on this set of research. Look to the Reference List of these articles to find research articles. You can search for the title of these articles by conducting a Quick Search from the library's homepage .

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Library Research at Cornell: Find Articles

  • The Research Steps
  • Which Topic?
  • Find the Context
  • Find Articles
  • Evaluate Sources
  • Cite Sources
  • Review the Steps
  • Find Primary Sources
  • Find Images
  • Library Jargon

Tips for Finding Articles

  • Use online databases to find articles in journals, newspapers, and magazines (periodicals). You can search for periodical articles by the article author, title, or keyword by using databases in your subject area in Databases .
  • Choose the database best suited to your particular topic--see details in the box below.
  • Use our Ask a Librarian service for help for figuring out which databases are best for your topic.
  • If the article full text is not linked from the citation in the database you are using, search for the title of the periodical in our Catalog . This catalog lists the print, microform, and electronic versions of journals, magazines, and newspapers available in the library.

Finding Periodicals and Periodical Articles

Topic outline for this page:

  • What Are Periodicals?

Finding the Periodical When You Do Have the Article Citation

Locating periodicals in olin and uris libraries, distinguishing scholarly journals from other periodicals.

  • Evaluating Individual Periodical Titles

What are Periodicals?

Periodicals are continuing publications such as journals, newspapers, or magazines. They are issued regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly).

The Cornell Library Catalog includes records for all the periodicals which are received by all the individual units of the Cornell University Library (Music Library, Mann Library, Law Library, Uris Library, etc.).

The Cornell Library Catalog does not include information on individual articles in periodicals. To find individual periodical articles by subject, article author, or article title, use periodical databases .

When you know the periodical title ( Scientific American, The New York Times, Newsweek ) search the Cornell Library Catalog by journal title .

Finding Articles When You Don't Have the Citation

To find an article, use databases.

When you don't have the citation to a specific article, but you do want to find articles on a subject, by a specific author or authors, or with a known article title, you need to use one or more periodical databases . But how do you know which periodical index to use?

What kind of periodicals are you looking for?

  • scholarly journals?
  • newspapers and substantive news sources?
  • popular magazines?
  • all three kinds?

[ Learn how to identify scholarly journals, news sources, and popular magazines. ]

If you want articles from scholarly, research, peer-reviewed journals , ask a reference librarian to recommend an index/database for your topic. Some databases index journals exclusively, like America: History and Life , EconLit , Engineering Village , MLA Bibliography , PsycINFO , PubMed , and Web of Science . Google Scholar searches across all scholarly disciplines and subjects. You can also use the subject menu in Databases linked from the library home page to locate databases that index scholarly publications.

If you want newspaper articles , see this guide to newspaper indexes and full-text newspaper databases . Online databases for finding newspaper articles are listed here: News Collections Online: News Databases .

If you want popular magazines , use Academic Search Premier or ProQuest Research Library . A printed index, Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature covering popular magazines from 1890 to 2011 is found in the Olin reference collection (Olin Reference AI 3 .R28).

The online index Reader's Guide Retrospective indexes popular magazines from 1890 to 1982 online. Periodical Contents Index covers some popular magazines for an even broader time period: 1770 to 1993.

If you want an index to all three kinds of articles, use Academic Search Premier or ProQuest Research Library . To find older articles, try Periodical Contents Index ; it indexes periodicals from 1770 to 1993.

If you want to search many databases simultaneously , use Articles & Full Text , also linked from the Library home page .

  • If you're not sure which kind of periodical you want or you're not sure which periodical index to use, or if you want help searching, ask a reference librarian .

Remember you can always browse the titles of online periodical databases available online by clicking on this link to the subject categories in the Databases or on the Databases link in the search box on the Library home page .

When You Have a Citation to a Specific Article, Use the Cornell Library Catalog

When you do have the citation or reference to a periodical article--if you know at least the title of the periodical and the issue date of the article you want--you can find its location at Cornell by using the Cornell Library Catalog . Choose "Journal Title" in the drop-down menu to the right of the search box, click in the search box, type in the title of the periodical in the search box, and press <enter> . Don't use the abbreviated titles that are often used in periodical indexes; remember to omit "a," "an" or "the" when you type in the periodical title.

Search examples in the Cornell Library Catalog:

* When searching for the title, Journal of Modern History

Type the following in the search box: journal of modern history

* When searching for the title, Annales Musicologiques: Moyen-Age et Renaissance

You may type the following: annales musicologiques moyen age (Omit punctuation) (searching is not case sensitive)

Depending on the number of records your search retrieves, you will see either a list of entries or a single record for an individual periodical title. If there is a list of titles, scroll through it and click on the line that lists the journal title you want to see for the call number and location information or the online link(s).

If the journal is available in electronic form , there will be a link or links int the box labelled "Availability" in the catalog record. Click on this link. In most cases, this will take you to the opening screen for the journal, and you can choose the issue you want from there.

If the journal is available in print form , record the call number and any additional location information in the catalog record. Now you're ready to find it on the shelf. Consult the local stack directory for the call number locations in individual libraries.

Current Periodicals:

Periodicals noted as "Current issues in Periodicals Room" in the Cornell Library Catalog are print journals shelved by title in the Current Periodicals Room on the main level in Olin Library. This room is immediately to the right and down the hall as you enter Olin Library. Only a small selection of current print periodicals is in this room : all other current periodical issues go directly to the Olin stacks where they are shelved by call number.

Back Issues of Periodicals

Back issues of periodicals are shelved by call number in the Olin and Uris Library stacks. Some back periodicals are shelved in specific subject rooms; watch for location notes in the Cornell Library Catalog record for the title you want.

Pay attention to the + and ++ indicators by the call number. Titles with the + and ++ (Oversize) designations and titles with no plus marks are each shelved in separate sections on each floor in Olin Library and separate floors in Uris Library.

Back issues on microfilm, microfiche, and microprint are housed on the lower or B Level in Olin Library.

Journals, news publications, and magazines are important sources for up-to-date information across a wide variety of topics. With a collection as large and diverse as Cornell's it is often difficult to distinguish between the various levels of scholarship found in the collection. In this guide we have divided the criteria for evaluating periodical literature into four categories:

  • Scholarly  /  VIDEO: How to Identify Scholarly Journal Articles
  • Substantive News and General Interest  /  VIDEO: How to Identify Substantive News Articles
  • Sensational and Tabloid


Webster's Third International Dictionary defines scholarly as:

  • concerned with academic study, especially research,
  • exhibiting the methods and attitudes of a scholar, and
  • having the manner and appearance of a scholar.

Substantive is defined as having a solid base, being substantial.

Popular means fit for, or reflecting the taste and intelligence of, the people at large.

Sensational is defined as arousing or intending to arouse strong curiosity, interest or reaction.

Keeping these definitions in mind, and realizing that none of the lines drawn between types of journals can ever be totally clear cut, the general criteria are as follows.

Scholarly journals are also called academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed journals . Strictly speaking, peer-reviewed (also called refereed) journals refer only to those scholarly journals that submit articles to several other scholars, experts, or academics (peers) in the field for review and comment. These reviewers must agree that the article represents properly conducted original research or writing before it can be published.

To check if a journal is peer-reviewed/refereed, search the journal by title in Ulrich's Periodical Directory --look for the referee jersey icon.

What to look for:

  • Scholarly journal articles often have an abstract, a descriptive summary of the article contents, before the main text of the article.
  • Scholarly journals generally have a sober, serious look. They often contain many graphs and charts but few glossy pages or exciting pictures.
  • Scholarly journals always cite their sources in the form of footnotes or bibliographies. These bibliographies are generally lengthy and cite other scholarly writings.
  • Articles are written by a scholar in the field or by someone who has done research in the field. The affiliations of the authors are listed, usually at the bottom of the first page or at the end of the article--universities, research institutions, think tanks, and the like.
  • The language of scholarly journals is that of the discipline covered. It assumes some technical background on the part of the reader.
  • The main purpose of a scholarly journal is to report on original research or experimentation in order to make such information available to the rest of the scholarly world.
  • Many scholarly journals, though by no means all, are published by a specific professional organization.

Examples of Scholarly Journals:

  • American Economic Review
  • Applied Geography
  • Archives of Sexual Behavior
  • JAMA : The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Journal of Marriage and the Family (published by the National Council on Family Relations)
  • Journal of Theoretical Biology
  • Modern Fiction Studies

Substantive News or General Interest

These periodicals may be quite attractive in appearance, although some are in newspaper format. Articles are often heavily illustrated, generally with photographs.

News and general interest periodicals sometimes cite sources, though more often do not.

Articles may be written by a member of the editorial staff, a scholar or a free lance writer.

The language of these publications is geared to any educated audience. There is no specialty assumed, only interest and a certain level of intelligence.

They are generally published by commercial enterprises or individuals, although some emanate from specific professional organizations.

The main purpose of periodicals in this category is to provide information, in a general manner, to a broad audience of concerned citizens.

Examples of Substantive News and General Interest Periodicals:

  • The Economist
  • National Geographic
  • The New York Times
  • Scientific American
  • Vital Speeches of the Day

Popular periodicals come in many formats, although often slick and attractive in appearance with lots of color graphics (photographs, drawings, etc.).

These publications do not cite sources in a bibliography. Information published in popular periodicals is often second or third hand and the original source is rarely mentioned.

Articles are usually very short and written in simple language.

The main purpose of popular periodicals is to entertain the reader, to sell products (their own or their advertisers), or to promote a viewpoint.

Examples of Popular Periodicals:

  • People Weekly
  • Readers Digest
  • Sports Illustrated

Sensational or Tabloid

Sensational periodicals come in a variety of styles, but often use a newspaper format.

Their language is elementary and occasionally inflammatory. They assume a certain gullibility in their audience.

The main purpose of sensational magazines seems to be to arouse curiosity and to cater to popular superstitions. They often do so with flashy headlines designed to astonish (e.g., Half-man Half-woman Makes Self Pregnant).

Examples of Sensational Periodicals:

  • National Examiner
  • Weekly World News

Evaluating Periodicals: Magazines for Libraries

Magazines for Libraries describes and evaluates journals, magazines, and newspapers:

Or ask for assistance at the reference desk .

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READ: Criteria for Identifying Types of Articles

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Article databases index popular, professional/trade, and scholarly journals (or peer reviewed). Peer reviewed or refereed articles refers to the process in which articles are reviewed by professionals in a field of study before being published. A journal's website should explain the publishing process and if it is peer reviewed or not. Many times, professors use the term peer reviewed and scholarly articles synonymously.

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  • What is the main idea?
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  • What large is the sample size?
  • What are they describing overall, is this a reasonable way to get at that information (e.g., greenhouse studies, observational studies)?
  • How are they presenting the data?
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When writing a paper or conducting academic research, you’ll come across many different types of sources, including periodical articles. Periodical articles can be comprised of news accounts, opinion, commentary, scholarly analysis, and/or reports of research findings. There are three main types of periodicals that you will encounter: scholarly/academic, trade, and popular.  The chart below will help you identify which type of periodical your article comes from.

Text and chart adapted from the WSU University Libraries' How to Distinguish Between Types of Periodicals  and Types of Periodicals guides

What makes information peer-reviewed vs. scholarly vs. non-scholarly? Which type of source should I use?

  • What makes information peer-reviewed vs. scholarly vs. non-scholarly?
  • Which type of source should I use?

Image of man thinking

There is a nuanced distinction between peer-review and scholarship, which typically doesn't matter when evaluating sources for possible citation in your own work.  Peer-review is a process through which editors of a journal have other experts in the field evaluate articles submitted to the journal for possible publication.  Different journals have different ways of defining an expert in the field.  Scholarly works, by contrast have an editorial process, but this process does not involve expert peer-reviewers.  Rather, one or more editors, who are themselves often highly decorated scholars in a field, evaluate submissions for possible publication.  This editorial process can be more economically driven than a peer-review process, with a greater emphasis on marketing and selling the published material, but as a general rule this distinction is trivial with regard to evaluating information for possible citation in your own work.

What is perhaps a more salient way of thinking about the peer-review / scholarship distinction is to recognize that while peer-reviewed information is typically highly authoritative, and is generally considered "good" information, the absence of a peer-review process doesn't automatically make information "bad."  More specifically, the only thing the absence of a peer-review process means is that information published in this manner is not peer-reviewed.  Nothing more.  Information that falls into this category is sometimes referred to as "non-scholarly" information -- but again, that doesn't mean this information is somehow necessarily problematic.

Where does that leave you in terms of deciding what type of information to use in producing your own work?  That is a highly individual decision that you must make.  The Which type of source should I use?  tab in this box offers further guidance on answering this question, though it is important to be aware that many WSU instructors will only consider peer-reviewed sources to be acceptable in the coursework you turn in .  You can ask your instructor for his or her thoughts on the types of sources s/he will accept in student work.

Image:  Martin Grater. (2017, Nov. 1). Deep Thought. Retrieved from Used under the Creative Commons License.

Image of man thinking

Your topic and research question or thesis statement will guide you on which resources are best.  Sources can be defined as primary, secondary and tertiary levels away from an event or original idea. Researchers may want to start with tertiary or secondary source for background information. Learning more about a topic will help most researchers make better use of primary sources.

While articles from scholarly journals are often the most prominent of the sources you will consider incorporating into your coursework, they are not the only sources available to you.  Which sources are most appropriate to your research is a direct consequence of they type of research question you decide to address.  In other words, while most university-level papers will require you to reference scholarly sources, not all will.  A student in an English course writing a paper analyzing Bob Dylan's lyrics, for example, may find an interview with Dylan published in Rolling Stone magazine a useful source to cite alongside other scholarly works of literary criticism.

The WSU University Libraries' What Sources Should I Use? handout, as well as the other sub-tabs under the  Evaluating information  section of this guide (which is indeed the section you are currently viewing) offer further guidance on understanding and identifying scholarly resources, and comparing them against different criteria to evaluate if they will be of value to your research.  How many non-scholarly works (if any) you are at liberty to cite alongside scholarly ones is often a question to ask of your professor.  Some may not want you to cite any, whereas others may be ok with some non-scholarly works cited alongside scholarly ones.

Image:  Brett Woods. (2006, Jan. 6). Deep Thoughts. Retrieved from Used under the Creative Commons License.

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Your Article Library

Research design: introduction, contents and types.

types of research your article library


A research design is a broad plan that states objectives of research project and provides the guidelines what is to be done to realize those objectives. It is, in other words, a master plan for executing a research project.


The word ‘design’ has various meanings. But, in relation to the subject concern, it is a pattern or an outline of research project’s workings. It is the statement of essential elements of a study that provides basic guidelines of conducting the project. It is same as the blue print of architect’s work.

The research design is similar to broad plan or model that states how the entire research project would be conducted. It is desirable that it must be in written form and must be simple and clearly stated. The real project is carried out as per the research design laid down in advance.

Definitions :

1. We can define the term as:

Research design is a broad framework that states the total pattern of conducting research project. It specifies objectives, data collection and analysis methods, time, costs, responsibility, probable outcomes, and actions.

2. More clearly, research design can be defined as:

Contents of Research Design :

The most common aspects involved in research design include at least followings:

1. Statement of research objectives, i.e., why the research project is to be conducted

2. Type of data needed

3. Definition of population and sampling procedures to be followed

4. Time, costs, and responsibility specification

5. Methods, ways, and procedures used for collection of data

6. Data analysis – tools or methods used to analyze data

7. Probable output or research outcomes and possible actions to be taken based on those outcomes

Types of Research Designs:

The research design is a broad framework that describes how the entire research project is carried out. Basically, there can be three types of research designs – exploratory research design, descriptive research design, and experimental (or causal) research design. Use of particular research design depends upon type of problem under study.

Let’s have glimpse of each of them:

1. Exploratory Research Design:

This design is followed to discover ideas and insights to generate possible explanations. It helps in exploring the problem or situation. It is, particularly, emphasized to break a broad vague problem statement into smaller pieces or sub-problem statements that help forming specific hypothesis.

The hypothesis is a conjectural (imaginary, speculative, or abstract) statement about the relationship between two or more variables. Naturally, in initial state of the study, we lack sufficient understanding about problem to formulate a specific hypothesis. Similarly, we have several competitive explanations of marketing phenomenon. Exploratory research design is used to establish priorities among those competitive explanations.

The exploratory research design is used to increase familiarity of the analyst with problem under investigation. This is particularly true when researcher is new in area, or when problem is of different type.

This design is followed to realize following purposes:

1. Clarifying concepts and defining problem

2. Formulating problem for more precise investigation

3. Increasing researcher’s familiarity with problem

4. Developing hypotheses

5. Establishing priorities for further investigation

Exploratory research design is characterized by flexibility to gain insights and develop hypotheses. It does not follow a planned questionnaire or sampling. It is based on literature survey, experimental survey, and analysis of selected cases. Unstructured interviews are used to offer respondents a great deal of freedom. No research project is purely and solely based on this design. It is used as complementary to descriptive design and causal design.

2. Descriptive Research Design :

Descriptive research design is typically concerned with describing problem and its solution. It is more specific and purposive study. Before rigorous attempts are made for descriptive study, the well-defined problem must be on hand. Descriptive study rests on one or more hypotheses.

For example, “our brand is not much familiar,” “sales volume is stable,” etc. It is more precise and specific. Unlike exploratory research, it is not flexible. Descriptive research requires clear specification of who, why, what, when, where, and how of the research. Descriptive design is directed to answer these problems.

3. Causal or Experimental Research Design :

Causal research design deals with determining cause and effect relationship. It is typically in form of experiment. In causal research design, attempt is made to measure impact of manipulation on independent variables (like price, products, advertising and selling efforts or marketing strategies in general) on dependent variables (like sales volume, profits, and brand image and brand loyalty). It has more practical value in resolving marketing problems. We can set and test hypotheses by conducting experiments.

Test marketing is the most suitable example of experimental marketing in which the independent variable like price, product, promotional efforts, etc., are manipulated (changed) to measure its impact on the dependent variables, such as sales, profits, brand loyalty, competitive strengths product differentiation and so on.

Related Articles:

  • Marketing Research: Nature and Scope of Marketing Research
  • Different Studies of Marketing Research

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First-Year Research Guide

  • Different Types of Articles

Distinguishing Between Different Types of Articles

  • Your Inquiry Question
  • Background Information
  • Finding Books on Your Topic
  • Finding Statistics on Your Topic
  • Types of Sources
  • Google Scholar
  • Evaluating Information - The SIFT Method
  • Citation Tools and Tips This link opens in a new window

Image of a person sitting in front of a computer. Various graphics (a light bulb, a bull's eye, a rocket ship, a clock, a document) appear around the computer screen, as a way of connecting different concepts and ideas.

Beyond distinguishing different types of sources (scholarly, substantive news, etc.), you'll often find that there are multiple types of documents within the same publication. Often the databases will note what type of document an article is, and many databases will also allow you to limit your search to exclude certain types of documents. Here's a brief overview of the types of articles you might see in your search results.

Article  - The most common type of document in a publication. Articles generally report news, information and facts, and usually do not include the authors' opinion.

Book Review  - A review or critique of a recently published book. Scholarly journals often contain reviews of books published in that discipline, although many newspapers and magazines also publish book reviews.

Brief Article   - A short news article, usually no more than 300-400 words

Commentary   - An opinion piece written by an individual. Some publications have commentary writers on staff, and many publications allow guest writers (not employed by the publication) to submit commentaries. 

Editorial   - An opinion piece that may be written by an individual or the publication's editorial board. 

Interview   - A conversation between a writer from a publication and an individual. These may be published in their entirety, or cut down for space or editorial considerations. 

Letter  - Usually submitted by members of the public who want to articulate their opinion on a specific issue or issues. 

Opinion  - A piece containing the author's opinion on an issue. (Many other types of documents - editorials, commentaries, etc. -- could fall under the "opinion" umbrella.)

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Journal Article Basics

  • What, Why, & Where
  • Peer Review
  • Article Sections
  • Identification
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What's the difference?

Popular vs. trade vs. scholarly.

Use the information on this page to compare how scholarly articles are different than other types of articles such as those from newspapers and magazines.

  • Citation or Database Record Info
  • Article Text
  • Print Features

NOTE: A periodical is any type of publication that is published on a recurring or regular basis. Magazines, newspapers, and journals are all periodicals.

*Viewing database articles in PDF format will give you better visual clues as to what type of article you have found.

References: Teaching Information Literacy 2nd ed. by Burkhardt and MacDonald Defining Scholarly, Trade, and Popular Sources (LibGuide), Elihu Burritt Library, Central Connecticut State Univ.

  • Definitions of Common Library Terms (Middle Tenn. State Univ.)

The links below take you to examples of different types of articles found in library databases. You will be prompted to enter your myPittCC username and password in order to access the articles if you are off campus.

Popular Magazine

Mother Earth News Cover Art

Trade Journal

National Defense Cover Art

Scholarly / Academic / Research / Peer-reviewed

Example 1: scientific research article.

AJOT Cover Art

Example 2: Literature Criticism

Journal Cover Art

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How To - Read a Scholarly Article

  • Introduction

Types of scholarly articles

  • Interactive Article Diagram
  • Reading for different purposes

There are a few different types of scholarly articles:

Original research

Brief communications.

  • Review articles

Case studies

Methods / methodologies, humanities articles.

Most of these article types are structured in the same way ; check out the structure of a scholarly article page for more information about this common structure.

  • Most common type of scholarly article
  • Often used in social sciences (education, psychology, etc.) & sciences (chemistry, meteorology, etc.)
  • Typically includes introduction, literature review, methodology, results, and conclusion
Example: Sogunro, O.A. (2015). Motivating factors for adult learners in higher education. International Journal of Higher Education, 4 (1), 22-37. Retrieved from

Review Articles

A.k.a. literature reviews, systematic reviews, or meta-analyses.

  • Provide a summary of original research on a topic
  • May point out limitations or gaps in existing research
  • May suggest future directions for research on the topic
  • May be organized thematically or chronologically
Example: Mercer-Mapstone, L., Dvorakova, S. L., Matthews, K., Abbot, S., Cheng, B., Felten, P.,...Swaim, K. (2017). A systematic literature review of students as partners in higher education. International Journal for Students As Partners, 1 (1). Retrieved from

A.K.A. letters, reports

  • They're like movie trailers for original academic research
  • Provide a quick preview of original research
  • Useful in competitive subject areas (ex. scientists competing for funding)
  • Useful in quickly changing subject areas (ex. medicine)
  • Usually formatted like original research articles (introduction, literature review, etc.)
Example: Yuan, C., Wei, G., Dey, L., Karrison, T., Nahlik, L., Maleckar, S., ...Moss, J. (2004). American ginseng reduces warfarin’s effect in healthy patients: A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 141 (1), 23-27. Retrieved from
  • Report on a specific case or instance of something
  • Can refer to a thing (ex. a rare medical condition), a place (ex. a specific river), or a group of people (ex. nurses)
  • Purpose is not to generalize, but to let others know similar things (ex. medical condition, river pollution, job stress) may occur elsewhere
  • Often formatted like original research articles (introduction, literature review, etc.)
Example: Bansal, P., & Kockelman, K. M. (2018). Are we ready to embrace connected and self-driving vehicles? A case study of Texans. Transportation, 45 (2), 641-675. Retrieved from
  • Scholarly article focused on new methods, tests, or other measure
  • May be a new method or a revision of an existing one; should be an improvement over existing methods
Example: Hurtado, J.C., Mosquera, M.M., de Lazzari, E., Martínez, E., Torner, N., Isanta, R.,...Estape, J.V. (2015). Evaluation of a new, rapid, simple test for the detection of influenza virus. BMC Infectious Diseases, 15 (44), 1-4. Retrieved from
  • Includes subjects like English, philosophy, history, and the arts (fine art, theatre, music, etc.)
  • Often begins with an introduction that contains the thesis and a brief overview of the arguments that will be presented
  • Literature and history articles often examine primary sources (though they approach them in different ways)
  • Philosophy articles focus on ideas and arguments  
  • Articles in these areas tend to have a more narrative structure (they're telling a story)
  • May have some features of other article types (esp. abstracts and references) 
Example: Fazel, V., & Geddes, L. (2016). "Give me your hands if we be friends": collaborative authority in Shakespeare fan fiction. Shakespeare, 12 (3), 274-286. Retrieved from
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Types of Research

Published 16 October, 2023

types of research your article library

Research is a broad field with many types of research that can be done. In order to understand the different types of research, it is important to define what type of information you are looking for. The type of research conducted varies greatly depending on the discipline and/or the questions they want to answer in their work. Here’s a quick overview of each type so you can get started with your own research!

What is research?

Research is basically an activity that you can conduct for gathering useful and valuable information about a specific subject or topic. Research is very much crucial whether you are in a scientific or non-scientific field.

It is the research activity that will help you in increasing your knowledge about specific topics or fields. Research can be helpful for you in relation to finding a solution to a number of problems. The types of research you need to perform are completely dependent on the nature of the problem.

Types of research according to the purpose of the study

Fundamental or basic research.

Fundamental research is simply a type of research that does not involve directly applying the information from the research to anything in particular. Instead, it focuses on understanding aspects of life, the universe, etc. This type of research provides the foundation for higher levels of inquiry or even basic application.

The main purpose of such type of research is to bring improvement in scientific theories. You can conduct fundamental research for gaining new knowledge about the subject or specific field. Fundamental research will help you in developing an in-depth understanding of specific phenomena and allow you to provide an explanation or conclusion for the same. It will enable you to address the root cause of the occurrence of a particular problem.

Applied research

Applied research is a form of a scientific investigation using products or practices in the real world to determine their efficacy, efficacy meaning how well they work. Applied research studies what has already been done to find new ways to solve a problem.

Applied research is the process of applying our scientific knowledge for practical purposes. Applied research aims to develop techniques, products, and procedures. Applied research allows you to find quick solutions for the issues by making the application of different principles or theories. The research findings of such types of investigation procedures can be applied immediately.

Note: Applied research is usually based on knowledge or results obtained through theoretical research.

Read Also: Types of Research Papers

Exploratory research

Exploratory research is used to generate and test new knowledge. You can perform such types of research for the issues that have not been studied properly by other researchers . You can perform exploratory research by engaging yourself in guided discussions, developing research that addresses risk factors, accumulating information about the market, appointing an expert person for conducting an interview. Exploratory research aims to explore the main aspects of an under-researched problem. The purpose of exploratory research is to produce data, insight, theory, or hypotheses. You can utilize this type of research for gathering and describing the characteristics of the population. Exploratory research will help you in the selection of the best research design .

Explanatory research

Explanatory research is research that looks for relationships among variables and seeks to establish cause and effect relationships that lead to generalizations about a certain subject or population

Explanatory research aims to explain the causes and consequences of a well-defined problem. The primary purpose of performing such a type of investigation is to provide an explanation of the relationship between different variables. Correlational Research  is the statistical formula that is utilized for developing an understanding of the relationship between different dimensions of the study.

Inductive research

Inductive research is an investigation process that starts with the particular, moving to the more abstract levels of generalizations, specifically changes in quality over time.

Inductive research aims to develop a theory. In order to generate a new theory, will require analyzing the previous hypothesis. The inductive approach begins with the observation of phenomena and theories which researcher designs after completion of the research procedure.

Deductive research

Deductive research is an approach to information gathering and analysis that starts with existing knowledge of a phenomenon or topic and proceeds, using a specific reasoning methodology, to generate new hypotheses. Deductive research is research that starts by making a prediction about the outcome of an experiment or a survey.

Deductive research aims to test a theory. The goal of deductive research is to clarify and refine hypotheses derived from previous knowledge.

Types of research according to the type of data used

Quantitative research.

You can conduct quantitative research for gathering numerical data about the phenomenon. Quantitative research is basically an iterative procedure where the evaluation of evidence is done. Quantitative research is a particular way of exploring, understanding, and presenting answers to question.

This type of research explores what’s going on in the world by measuring and recording it. In addition to this, graphs, tables, charts are utilized for presenting the outcome. Such types of investigation are conclusive in nature. By conducting such type of research you can easily make a comparison between data and could easily reach a conclusion.

Qualitative research

Qualitative research typically involves minimal assumptions and maximum interpretation with the goal of understanding what the respondents think and say. Qualitative research involves understanding people’s meanings, experiences, and opinions through talking in-depth to a small number of respondents.

Such type of investigation is mainly performed for gathering non-numerical data. By conducting a qualitative investigation you can detail facts about the phenomenon. Qualitative research allows you to provide detailed information about the situation. It also enables you to explore hidden aspects of research.

Read Also: Qualitative & Quantitative Research Method Differences

Descriptive research

Descriptive research is a systematic way of describing the population or situation you are studying. In descriptive research, the researcher’s primary objective is to describe and define a particular phenomenon without necessarily investigating its causes. Descriptive research gathers data without controlling any variables.

Experimental research

Experimental research is research conducted in an environment or setting designed to test the validity of a particular phenomenon. The researcher manipulates one variable at a time, like patience or different groups of people to test their response to something. Experimental research manipulates and controls variables to determine cause and effect.

Types of research according to the sources of information

Primary research.

Primary research is the original or first compilation of data. Primary research is carefully directed and conducted by the researcher, ideally as a person who has no established opinion on the topic. It typically involves a small number of experimental subjects, with an attempt to measure variables that directly correlate with the research question. Primary data is collected directly by the researcher (e.g. through interviews or experiments).

Secondary research

Secondary research is a type of research that involves finding and reading sources of information already published. Secondary research is the act of using existing published and unpublished data, data sets, and insights to form new knowledge. It can involve summarizing, interpreting, or analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including books, articles online databases, or government records. Secondary data has already been collected by someone else (e.g. in government surveys or scientific publications).

Types of research according to the time in which it is carried out

Longitudinal research.

Longitudinal research or Diachronic Research is an excellent tool for tracking changes in a number of variables over time. It does this by monitoring the same event, individual or group longitudinally to observe any transformations and growth they undergo during that period. In such types of research, You need to collect information at different points in time.

Cross-sectional research

Cross-sectional research or Synchronous Research is best used for studying a phenomenon or individual at one given time. The design consists of observations and measurements taken on the subjects during that period in order to study their behaviors, thoughts, opinions etcetera. In such type of research, you need to collect data on the research topic in a week or month. Students perform such kind of research with the purpose of analyzing the present situation.

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Research Guide

Disclaimer: The Reference papers provided by the serve as model and sample papers for students and are not to be submitted as it is. These papers are intended to be used for reference and research purposes only.


  1. Types of Research Report

    types of research your article library

  2. 10 Steps for Writing a Scientific Research Article

    types of research your article library

  3. Types of Research

    types of research your article library

  4. 3: Find Materials

    types of research your article library

  5. Types of scholarly journal articles

    types of research your article library

  6. How to Read a Scholarly Article

    types of research your article library


  1. How To Structure A Literature Review

  2. Classifications and Types of Research

  3. Finding research methods

  4. How to Write a Research Article

  5. Review a single, scholarly PRIMARY Research article and summarize what it says about any topic

  6. Research Design and its types in Urdu


  1. Types of Scholarly Articles

    Literature Reviews Distinguishing characteristic: Literature reviews survey and analyze a clearly delaminated body of scholarly literature. Usefulness for research: Literature reviews are useful as a way to quickly get up to date on a particular topic of research. Theoretical Articles

  2. Home: Finding Types of Research: Evidence-Based Research

    Understanding Clinical Papers by David Bowers; Allan House; David Owens; Bridgette Bewick. ISBN: 9781119573166. Publication Date: 2021. This book covers every major aspect of reading and evaluating clinical research literature, from identifying the aims and objectives of a paper to analyzing the data with different multivariable methods.

  3. Choosing Your Topic

    Coming up with a topic for your paper can sometimes be the hardest or most frustrating part of the research process. It can be intimidating to have a big library research task in front of you. Don't worry--just about everyone feels this way at some point! And it's O.K. to not feel completely confident about your topic.

  4. Research Methods

    Research Methods | Definitions, Types, Examples Research methods are specific procedures for collecting and analyzing data. Developing your research methods is an integral part of your research design. When planning your methods, there are two key decisions you will make. First, decide how you will collect data.

  5. Types of Sources Explained

    There are many kinds of journal articles, including: Original research articles: These publish original data ( primary sources) Theoretical articles: These contribute to the theoretical foundations of a field. Review articles: These summarize the current state of the field. Credible journals use peer review.

  6. Types of Scholarly Sources

    Meta-analyses are quantitative, statistical analyses of the results of two or more studies on the same topic or hypothesis. By combining the results of multiple studies, the author (s) of the meta-analysis hope to provide greater understanding of the topic. Example article: Gender differences in marital satisfaction: A meta-analysis.

  7. Articles, Books, and . . . ? Understanding the Many Types of

    It's those "article containers" that define the types of articles, how you use them, and how you find them. Articles are also the main reason we have so many databases. The Library Catalog lists everything we own, but only at the level of whole books and journals. It will tell you we have the New York Times, and for what dates, but it doesn't ...

  8. LibGuides: Library Research Strategies: Types of sources

    They include handbooks, textbooks, subject-specific reference sources, general encyclopedias, and bibliographies. For in-depth information about your topic, use secondary sources: Secondary sources are materials that provide analyses or interpretations of primary sources.

  9. JKM Library: Intro to Library Research: Types of Articles

    Articles are written by journalists and go through a general editorial process; The purpose of articles is to entertain, report news, or summarize information; Usually do not contain a works cited list or bibliography, but may name or refer to sources through the article's text; Examples include: The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Time, etc.

  10. Types of research article

    A Registered Report consists of two different kinds of articles: a study protocol and an original research article. This is because the review process for Registered Reports is divided into two stages. In Stage 1, reviewers assess study protocols before data is collected. In Stage 2, reviewers consider the full published study as an original ...

  11. Tutorial: Evaluating Information: Scholarly Literature Types

    Types of scholarly literature. You will encounter many types of articles and it is important to distinguish between these different categories of scholarly literature. Keep in mind the following definitions. Peer-reviewed (or refereed): Refers to articles that have undergone a rigorous review process, often including revisions to the original ...

  12. How to Find Sources

    Library resources Other online sources Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about finding sources Research databases You can search for scholarly sources online using databases and search engines like Google Scholar. These provide a range of search functions that can help you to find the most relevant sources.

  13. Research Guides: Scholarly Publishing: Publishing an Article

    Types of Articles. Primary research results may be published in a variety of ways. For example: A Letter or Brief Communication provides timely release of important research results in a brief format. Typically this is followed by a full research article. A Full Article is a regular, comprehensive report of a research project.

  14. LibGuides: Finding Information: Types of Information Resources

    Research databases. Collections of information in a searchable format. This where you find journal articles. Each Library database has a specific content focus and offers the ability to fine-tune search results. These specialized, scholarly resources are often licensed by the University for your use.

  15. Library Research Methods

    5.4.1 Evaluating Sources for Relevance. If your source is a book, do this: Skim its index for your key words, then skim the pages on which those words occur. Skim the first and last paragraphs in chapters that use a lot of your key words. Skim prologues, introductions, summary chapters, and so on.

  16. Types of Research Articles

    Primary Research Articles* (original research articles) Research articles report the results of research activity or findings. The author explains why and how the research was done and what the results mean. Published in peer reviewed or referreed publications (journals). Research articles are primary sources. Parts of a research article: Title

  17. EDUC 4605 Course Guide:Identifying Article Types

    You can search our library databases for scholarly and peer reviewed articles for use in your research papers. Article Types. Within scholarly journals you will find different types of articles. Depending on your needs, knowing these different types will help you find the resources you need for your research. These types include: Literature Reviews

  18. Health Sciences Research Strategies

    There are three main types of periodicals that you will encounter: scholarly/academic, trade, and popular. The chart below will help you identify which type of periodical your article comes from. Text and chart adapted from the WSU University Libraries' How to Distinguish Between Types of Periodicals and Types of Periodicals guides

  19. Library Research at Cornell: Find Articles

    Tips for Finding Articles. Use online databases to find articles in journals, newspapers, and magazines (periodicals). You can search for periodical articles by the article author, title, or keyword by using databases in your subject area in Databases. Choose the database best suited to your particular topic--see details in the box below.

  20. Types of Articles

    Guides Find Articles (A step-by-step guide) Types of Articles Find Articles (A step-by-step guide) READ: Criteria for Identifying Types of Articles READ: Criteria for Identifying Types of Articles Article databases index popular, professional/trade, and scholarly journals (or peer reviewed).

  21. Students for Cultivating Change

    Questions to guide your search for stakeholder perspectives. News Databases & Newspapers. Google News. Explore the literature in a specific academic discipline (e.g., Crop & Soil Science). Find scientific reports based on rigorous research. Questions to ask about methods. Questions to ask about data. OSU Libraries Databases

  22. Library Research Strategies

    There are three main types of periodicals that you will encounter: scholarly/academic, trade, and popular. The chart below will help you identify which type of periodical your article comes from. Text and chart adapted from the WSU University Libraries' How to Distinguish Between Types of Periodicals and Types of Periodicals guides

  23. Research Design: Introduction, Contents and Types

    1. We can define the term as: ADVERTISEMENTS: Research design is a broad framework that states the total pattern of conducting research project. It specifies objectives, data collection and analysis methods, time, costs, responsibility, probable outcomes, and actions. 2. More clearly, research design can be defined as:

  24. Different Types of Articles

    Editorial - An opinion piece that may be written by an individual or the publication's editorial board. Interview - A conversation between a writer from a publication and an individual. These may be published in their entirety, or cut down for space or editorial considerations.

  25. Sharing research data for journal authors

    These brief, peer-reviewed articles complement full research papers and are an easy way to receive proper credit and recognition for the work you have done. Research elements are research outputs that have come about as a result of following the research cycle - this includes things like data, methods and protocols, software, hardware and more.

  26. Research Guides: Journal Article Basics: Types of Articles

    Magazines, newspapers, and journals are all periodicals. *Viewing database articles in PDF format will give you better visual clues as to what type of article you have found. References: Teaching Information Literacy 2nd ed. by Burkhardt and MacDonald

  27. Types of scholarly articles

    There are a few different types of scholarly articles: Original research. Brief communications. Review articles. Case studies. Methods / methodologies. Humanities articles. Most of these article types are structured in the same way; check out the structure of a scholarly article page for more information about this common structure.

  28. Types of Research

    Inductive research. Inductive research is an investigation process that starts with the particular, moving to the more abstract levels of generalizations, specifically changes in quality over time. Inductive research aims to develop a theory. In order to generate a new theory, will require analyzing the previous hypothesis.