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Finding Journal Articles 101

Research Article

Research Article

When scientists and other scholars want to make the results of their work public, they usually begin by publishing them in a scholarly journal with a title like New England Journal of Medicine, or Journal of Cell Biology.

What is and isn’t in a research article?

Research articles will usually contain:

  • a summary or “abstract”
  • a description of the research
  • the results they got
  • the significance of the results.

Research articles are not good places to find:

  • basic summaries
  • general introductions to a topic

They are the best way to access:

  • The most recent, “cutting edge” research
  • Authoritative information about older research

Research articles typically have a standard format, with these four sections:

  • Introduction--states the research question and gives some background for it
  • Methods--tells how the research was done
  • Results--presents the data
  • Discussion--interprets the data, addresses its significance

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