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This guide includes resources for theoretical and computational linguistics.

What is an Empirical Research Article?

An empirical research article reports the findings of an original research study that includes a measured experiment or observation.

Key components of an empirical study:

  • Abstract - Provides a brief overview of the research.
  • Introduction - The introduction contextualizes the research by providing a literature review of previous research on the topic. It's also the section where the hypothesis is stated.
  • Methodology / Methods - The methods area describes how the research was conducted, including the design of the study, who the participants were and what they did, and any measurements that were taken during the study.
  • Results - The results section describes the outcome of the study. 
  • Discussion / Conclusions - The discussion section addresses the researchers' interpretations of their study and any future implications from their findings.
  • References - A list of works that were cited in the study.

LLBA: Find Empirical Research

Linguistics and Language Behavioral Abstracts (LLBA) doesn't provide a convenient way to limit your search results to just empirical research. If you'd like to search for empirical literature in LLBA, you can try adding some of the following keywords to your search:

  • empirical
  • case studies
  • fieldwork
  • qualitative analysis
  • quantitative analysis
  • statistical analysis
  • surveys

APA PsycINFO: Find Empirical Research

APA PsycINFO offers the option to limit search results to a specific methodology, including empirical studies. The methodology search facet is located on the advanced search page for APA PsycINFO near the bottom of the page:

PsycINFO advanced search page with "Empirical Study" selected under the Methodology search facet.

ERIC: Find Empirical Research

ERIC (ProQuest) doesn't have an easy way to search for empirical research. You can try adding "empirical" into your search terms or you can try limiting your search results to research reports by completing the following steps:

  • Use the "Advanced Search" page
  • Type in your search terms
  • Scroll down the page to "Document Type" and select both checkboxes for "143: Reports- Research."
  • Click "Search"

Document type facet in ERIC. 143: Reports - Research is selected.

Another strategy for finding empirical research is to add different combinations of the following search terms. Use the thesaurus feature in ERIC to find additional recommended terms.

  • action research
  • case studies
  • empirical
  • ethnography
  • experiments
  • field studies
  • interviews
  • methodology (or method)
  • mixed methods research
  • participant observation
  • participatory research
  • qualitative research
  • quantitative research
  • statistical analysis
  • study