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Education (Research Resources): Finding Empirical Research

What is Empirical Research?

  • Empirical studies are those based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
  • Articles that describe empirical research studies are published in scholarly or academic journals.
  • Many scholarly or academic journals are peer-reviewed or refereed, meaning that a panel of experts in the field selects and reviews the articles published in the journal. These articles are often, but not always, empirical studies.
  • Empirical studies articles comprise the following parts (wording may vary):
    • abstract
    • introduction (and review of the literature)
    • method
    • results
    • discussion (and/or Conclusion)
    • references

(Thanks to the  McIntyre Library Staff at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire- created by: Jill Markgraf)

Where to Look

This is just a sampling of the many databases containing empirical studies.

Finding Empirical Research Articles

Most databases will let you limit your search to articles that are:

  • scholarly
  • academic
  • peer-reviewed
  • refereed

Many, but not all, of these will be empirical studies.

To further focus your search, try adding one of the following terms to your search (try different combinations):

  • study
  • methodology (or method)
  • empirical
  • research
  • findings
  • results
  • participants
  • qualitative or quantitative

In addition, in the database ERIC you can limit "publication type" to Reports - Research to retrieve empirical studies.

(Thanks to the  McIntyre Library Staff at University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire- created by: Jill Markgraf)