Answered By: Greg Szczyrbak
Last Updated: Sep 01, 2020     Views: 3

Empirical research is based on observed or measured phenomenon rather than a person's belief or theory. Many academic journals publish empirical research, but not all academic journal articles are empirical research. Some are commentary or essays. To distinguish empirical research, you should look for evidence of original research. You can often find this in the abstract. Look for the methods and other evidence including:

  • a number of participants is indicated often using "n= [a number] "
  • a description of the design of the study. ("Participants completed a survey..." or "The authors analyzed...")
  • includes data and charts, results. ("Results indicate..." or "The data demonstrates..."

Some databases, including PsycInfo have a field that you can limit by, indicating you want to see only search results that are tagged as empirical research.

It can help to include terms such as method, research, design result, or data as one of your search terms.