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KNR 164: Introduction to Exercise Science: Home

Help finding empirical research articles for exercise science.

What are Empirical Research Articles?

Empirical research articles use data derived from actual

  • observations
  • experiments  or
  • surveys

Where are Empirical Research Articles Found?

Original research papers that describe empirical studies and their results are published in scholarly or academic journals.

Scholarly or academic journals can be further categorized into those that are

  • editorially reviewed journals or
  • peer-reviewed journals

Editorially reviewed journals include articles that have been appraised by an editor or board of editors.

Peer-reviewed journals include articles that have been reviewed by experts in a specific field or one’s “peers” in the field. Peer reviewers often make recommendations or revisions to manuscripts submitted for publication.

Scholarly journals can contain a wide variety of articles within each issue.
Empirical research articles are just one type.

Article examples

Where Can I Search for Empirical Research Journals?

The best approach to finding empirical research articles is to search within databases that index scholarly or academic journals covering the subject area of your research.

Milner Library subscribes to many databases that help researchers find citations, abstracts and often full-text articles to a wide variety of resources (scholarly or academic journals, trade journals, popular magazines) including journals containing empirical research articles.

Databases have a broader definition of research than strictly empirical research articles. Some databases are better than others for finding empirical research studies. A good interdisciplinary database to begin with is Academic Search Complete. Each discipline provides specific databases for scholarly research.

Selected Databases

What Search Terms Should I Use to Locate Empirical Research Articles?

You will want to include the main concepts of the research topic. Then try limiting your search to empirical research articles by typing in keywords such as: survey, study, methodology, data, statistical, or quantitative.


Sceen image of Academic Search Complete

How Can I Determine whether an Article Contains Empirical Research?

  1. What is the name of the journal? Popular magazines such as Time and Newsweek and newspapers do not publish empirical research articles, though they may report on important findings or conclusions from those studies. Scholarly journals such as the Journal of American College Health and Journal of College Student Development do publish empirical studies.
  2. How long is the article? Empirical research articles are usually substantial in length, not one or two pages. The articles also typically follow a format with headings such as:  methodology, data, measures, findings, and conclusions. Look for those elements in the article.
  3. Does the abstract of the article contain variations of the following words?  methodology, findings, results, survey, study, measure, subjects, data, statistical, empirical
  4. Does the article contain references to other works? Serious researchers always cite their sources.

Questions? Ask Me!

Joshua Newport's picture
Joshua Newport