Evidence-based practice sources, like literature reviews and meta-analyses, summarize and evaluate evidence from empirical research studies. They discuss trends, outstanding questions, and emerging consensus among studies on a particular topic.
Empirical research uses experimentation or observation as the source of its information. Empirical research articles report the results of such studies. They are written by the people who performed the studies, making them examples of primary sources.
A short synopsis of the article's main points, located before the article proper. Abstracts are often viewable from a list of search results in a database. If a study or experiment was conducted, that should be mentioned in the abstract.
These sections may be combined, unlabeled, or labeled differently, but any empirical article should contain all of these pieces of information.
A list of the sources cited in the article. This list should be extensive.
When your professor instructs you to limit your search to empirical research articles, avoid these other types of articles:
In addition to the keywords that describe your research topic, trying adding a term that describes the type of study you wish to find. For example:
Take a look at the Advanced Search screen in any database. Some databases have special search options to help you locate the studies that match your criteria. For example, PsycInfo includes a Methodology option that allows you to select "Empirical Study."
MEDLINE Ultimate includes a Publication Type option that allows you to select general "Research."
In both databases, those options also allow you to select more specific types of studies, such as "Clinical Trial."
Identifying an Empirical Research Article from Wayne State University