Answered By: Veronica Bielat
Last Updated: Aug 08, 2018     Views: 24130

Locating Empirical Research articles

To locate empirical research articles in psychology, use the PsycINFO database. 

To access the PsycINFO database from the library homepage:

  • Click on the Article Databases 
  • Click on the letter P, and scroll down to find PsycINFO in the list. Select the link.
  • If necessary, enter your WSU AccessID and Password in the EZProxy screen.

When you get to the PsycINFO database, click on the ADVANCED SEARCH link under the search box.

Type in the search terms for your topic.

To limit your search to empirical research articles, go to the boxes in the lower part of the search screen

  • From the Publication Type box, select Peer Reviewed Journal
  • From the Methodology box, select EMPIRICAL STUDY

For more help with psychology research, including videos on searching PsycInfo, go to the Psychology Guide.

What's an empirical research article?

Empirical research articles are research based articles reporting observed and measured phenomena. It is research that derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief. Articles reporting on empirical research can be quite long, and almost always contain the following sections:

  • An introduction and literature review of related research (and a list of references at the end of the article)
  • A statement of the research question(s) and method used to gather the data
  • Analysis of the results of the data gathered (this may be quantitative or qualitative)
  • A discussion or conclusion
  • A substantial list of the references consulted throughout the article

This PowerPoint illustrates what you can look for to help you Identify an Empirical Research Article. When in doubt, contact your professor or a librarian to get a second opinion regarding whether an article is reporting empirical research.

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