A research article is a journal article in which researchers present the results of an original research project, experiment or study. Usually this type of article is written by more than one person, since it typically requires a team to design, carry out, and analyze the data from such a research project. This type of article is then published in a journal devoted to the particular field in which the research was performed.
A good way to begin is by searching general databases that contain periodicals from many different fields. The general databases most widely used here at Grace Library are Academic Search Premier (EBSCOhost) and OmniFile Full Text Select-H.W. Wilson (EBSCOhost) , both of which are available through the Grace Library homepage by clicking on Find Articles. Both of these databases contain professional journals from many academic disciplines, as well as a wide range of popular magazines. If you need only a small number of research articles, try these databases first.
After typing in your search terms, but before you actually run your search in either Academic Search Premier or OmniFile Full Text Select-H.W. Wilson, be sure to limit your search to peer reviewed (“professional”) journals only. Limiting your search to professional journals will not only give you research articles in your search result, but it will exclude articles from magazines, so you will have fewer and more relevant citations to sift through.
After you have looked for articles in the two databases listed above you can also find citations for research articles in one of the many subject specific databases listed on the Find Articles page on the library’s web site. These databases cover only the professional journals of a given academic discipline.
The above periodical databases sometimes only supply citations and abstracts and not the full text of an article. In those cases you should use the Find Journal Titles link on the library's homepage and search for the journal title to see if Grace Library owns it in print. If you are still unable to find the journal title or the library's missing an issue, try using the Rapid ILL Interlibrary Loan online form to request articles.
Even after doing a successful search in an appropriate database you will still have to determine which of the articles research articles are and which are not. (Remember, all research articles are journal articles, but not all journal articles are research articles.) So how can you tell which journal articles are research articles?
ReferenceSternberg, R.J. (1993). The psychologist’s companion: A guide to scientific writing for students and researchers (3rd ed.). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.