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HD 327: Research Methods in Human Development

Online research guide for research methods in human development..

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More about empirical studies

  • Empirical studies are those based on actual and objective observation or experimentation.
  • Articles that describe empirical research studies are published in scholarly or academic journals.
  • Many scholarly or academic journals are peer-reviewed or refereed, meaning that a panel of experts in the field selects and reviews the articles published in the journal. These articles are often, but not always, empirical studies.
  • Empirical studies articles comprise the following parts (wording may vary):
    • abstract
    • introduction (and review of the literature)
    • method
    • results
    • discussion (and/or Conclusion)
    • references

Types of Research Articles

As you search for scholarly articles using library databases, you will come across three types of articles:

Research Articles or Empirical Studies
Article reports on data collected in an experiment or study, and is written by the person who conducted the research.  These are considered primary sources.

Review Articles
Article summarizes results of existing studies, and attempts to identify trends and draw larger conclusions.  The author may not be the auther of the other studies analyzed.  These are considered secondary sources.

Theoretical Articles

Article contributes new theoretical knowledge to a specific discipline.


Overview of types of scholarly articles from Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) supports the academic research of Eckerd College students, faculty, and staff by obtaining books, chapters, articles, and electronic resources from other libraries. ILL also shares Eckerd's collection with other libraries around the country.

Login to your ILL account with your current Eckerd College username and password to view and submit requests, request renewals, update your contact information, and more.

Pro Tip: Enable text message alerts under the Communication Preference tab, and we'll text you when your book or article is ready for pickup. Faculty may choose delivery of print books to your collegium mailbox; simply choose the correct collegium in the dropdown menu for Pickup Location.


For more information about the Interlibrary Loan process, see our ILL help page.