Skip to Main Content

HPHE 4440: Professional Development in Exercise Science

This is a library research guide for students enrolled in the class: HPHE 4440: Professional Development in Exercise Science

Identifying empirical articles

Definition of an empirical study: An empirical research article reports the results of a study that uses data derived from actual observation or experimentation. Empirical research articles are examples of primary research.

Parts of a standard empirical research article: (articles will not necessary use the exact terms listed below.)

  • Abstract ... A paragraph length description of what the study includes.
  • Introduction...Includes a statement of the hypotheses for the research and a review of other research on the topic.
  • Method ...A description of how the research was conducted, such as:
             ◊ Who are participants
             ◊  Design of the study
             ◊  What the participants did
             ◊  What measures were used
  • Results...Describes the outcomes of the measures of the study.
  • Discussion...Contains the interpretations and implications of the study.
  • References...Contains citation information on the material cited in the report. (also called bibliography or works cited)

Characteristics of an Empirical Article:

  • Empirical articles will include charts, graphs, or statistical analysis.
  • Empirical research articles are usually substantial, maybe from 8-30 pages long.
  • There is always a bibliography found at the end of the article.

Type of publications that publish empirical studies:

  • Empirical research articles are published in scholarly or academic journals
    These journals are also called “peer-reviewed,” or “refereed” publications.

Finding / identifying  empirical studies:

  • Look in the title or abstract for words like studyresearchmeasuresubjectsdataeffectssurvey, or statistical which might indicate empirical research. Other suggested terms:
    • Action research
    • Evaluation research
    • Field study
    • Mixed method
    • Participant observation

Borrowed from:: California State University Fullerton, Pollak Library, Sociology Research Guide: