How To Identify Research Articles

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					How To Identify Research Articles
Retrieved April 18, 2004 from SCOPE: This handout is intended to aid students in distinguishing articles in periodical literature based on level of academic rigor or authority. As the following examples will illustrate, it is not always possible to distinguish types of articles by looking at bibliographic citations; always look at abstracts or text, when available. Jump to:  Research vs. Review; Primary vs. Secondary; or Peer-Reviewed vs. Non-Peer Reviewed

        SCHOLARLY articles appear only in journals, although journals may contain non-scholarly material as well. Scholarly articles are written by credentialed experts using sophisticated, sometimes technical vocabulary; they are more likely to contain charts, tables or graphs; are generally longer and more detailed; are thoroughly researched; always provide citations to their sources; usually have detailed abstracts or summaries at the top; and are aimed at scholars, students, or specialists in the discipline. Examples: Journal of Communication; Harvard Educational Review; Science         POPULAR articles generally appear in magazines; may be written by journalists or other non-specialists using relatively simple vocabulary; often share space with advertisements; are usually shorter and broader in scope; generally do not give complete citations to their sources; usually do not have abstracts; and are aimed at general audiences or casual readers. Examples: Newsweek; Education Digest; Scientific American

        RESEARCH articles report on the results of a single study or experiment; the author(s) of the article is/are the person(s) who conducted the study or experiment. Research articles always have abstracts attached, and often contain standardized headings within the text, e.g. "METHOD," "DATA," "RESULTS," "CONCLUSION." Example: Clark, David A., Christine Purdon, and E. Sandra Byers. "Appraisal                 and control of sexual and non-sexual intrusive thoughts in university                 students." Behaviour Research and Therapy 38, no. 5 (2000) : 439-455.         REVIEW articles summarize the results of several studies or experiments, often attempting to identify trends or draw broader conclusions; the article’s author(s) is/are not the author(s) of most of the literature reviewed. Example: Berkowitz, Alan D. and others. "Research on college men and rape."                 New Directions for Student Services, no. 65 (1994) : 3-19. REVIEW periodicals contain selections of significant articles in a particular discipline, often reprinted from other sources, or they may contain book reviews or bibliographic essays. Examples: Annual Review of Sociology; Methods in Microbiology;                 Advances in Organic Chemistry; Trends in Neurosciences

        PRIMARY articles present the original work or experimental results of that article’s author(s). All research articles are therefore primary articles, but not all primary articles are "research." If an article comments on or responds to the work of other authors, but still contains substantial original content or experimental research, it is generally considered to be primary. Example: Amenta, Edwin and Michael P.Young. "Democratic states                 and social movements: theoretical arguments and hypotheses."                 Social Problems 46, no. 2 (1999) : 153-168.         SECONDARY articles summarize the work, views, or experimental research of other authors or comment on previously published research. Example: Goldman, Michael and Rachel A. Schurman. "Closing the ‘Great         Divide’: new social theory on society and nature." Annual Review         of Sociology 26 (2000) : 563-584.

(also known as REFEREED vs. NON-REFEREED)         PEER-REVIEWED articles are those that have been submitted by a journal’s editors to selected scholars or "peers" in the academic field(s) represented by the article’s topic. These experts may or may not be otherwise affiliated with the journal. Based in part on the evaluations returned, the editors then determine which articles will be published.         NON-PEER-REVIEWED articles are those that reach publication based entirely on the opinions or judgment of a journal’s editors. Many journals, and all magazines, are not peer-reviewed. To determine if a journal contains peer-reviewed articles, consult the instructions for contributors usually found at the beginning or end of each issue, or check the journal title in Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory (Ref Desk PN 4832 .U44). Some periodical index databases have special notations or search limit features for peer-reviewed journals. Back to Help Guides Home Page            Back to EWU Libraries Home Page  
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