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Research Articles: What are they and how do you use them?: Research Articles: Overview

Identify the significant components of a research article

What are Research Articles?

Research articles are usually written for experts in the field--psychologists reporting on a behavioral study of adolescents, or scientists summarizing the results of their experiments with thermodynamics, for example. Research articles are much more scholarly than articles you would find in popular magazines like Newsweek. Research articles may also be called scholarly journal articles, peer-reviewed journal articles, or refereed journal articles.

You’ll find research articles in publications such as the Journal of Applied Fluid Mechanics and Acupuncture in Medicine:  Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Access to these and thousands of other journals is available through the library’s Databases webpage. You can also browse the library's print journals on the second floor of the library.

Parts of a Research Article

There are some basic components to research articles that you should know about. Here’s an example from the Journal of Fire Sciences, as found in the Academic OneFile database. The first page of this 15-page article gives you lots of information.

Parts of a Research Article, continued

The end of the article will usually wrap up with a conclusion or discussion.

After the conclusion of the article, there will be a bibliography, or list of References the authors used for their research.  These can be useful if you want to check out more sources on your topic.