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EXSC 2240-01 Motor Learning and Development (Griffes) Fall 2023

What are Empirical Articles?

An empirical article is a research article that reports the results of a study that uses quantitative or qualitative data derived from observation or experimentation.  Empirical articles are found in peer-reviewed journals.  Every empirical article has several different sections, which typically include:

  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology/Methods/Designs
  • Results
  • Discussion/Conclusion
  • Bibliography (substantial list of references)

See an example of an empirical article here.

Empirical articles are always peer-reviewed (also known as scholarly). Peer-review is a process that many scholarly journals undertake to evaluate the quality of the material being submitted. When an article is submitted to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, several impartial reviewers (who are experts in the subject matter) ensure that the article presents properly conducted and original research or writing.  They must also assure accuracy and validity. 

Watch a short video tutorial and take a practice quiz here.

Empirical Articles are NOT:

The following types of articles are NOT empirical articles:

Review - an evaluative account of a recent publication or publications

Systematic Review - a literature review which is based on a specific research question, but not on original research.

Meta-analyses - statistical analysis of the results of other studies

definitions based on ODLIS

Databases to Find Empirical Articles

Databases provide access to articles and other information; sometimes the full text is available but sometimes only the abstract and citation information are available (in which case you can request the item through interlibrary loan). Databases can include access to peer-reviewed articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, etc.  Some are specialized by topic, and some are interdisciplinary.  Milne Library subscribes to hundreds of databases. 

PubMed is the best starting place for this assignment.  Other relevant databases follow PubMed, and a short video tutorial on Academic Search Complete is also available.  Many of the same strategies from the video can be applied to other databases as well!

Video Tutorial

Academic Search Complete is a library database that covers many topics, and can be a good place to start research.  The video below provides a helpful overview, and many of the tips and tricks you'll learn in this video can be applied to other databases, including those listed above!