Answered By: Betsy Hopkins
Last Updated: Mar 31, 2020     Views: 6370

A research article (primary source article) reports new or original data. 

In the sciences, this can be experimental results, new analysis of existing data, or a meta-analysis that combines data from several different studies. Research can be quantitative (based on numbers) or qualitative (non-numeric; e.g., narrative, personal experience, and interviews).

To identify a research article/primary source article, read the abstract. If the abstract describes specific methodology or results, then the article is most likely a primary source or research article. On the other hand, if the abstract summarizes information about a subject, the article is probably a review article or secondary source. 

Some databases (like CINAHL) have limiters which allow you to search for only research articles.

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