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FOX BIO280/281 - Human Anatomy and Physiology: Finding Primary Research Articles

Identifying Research Articles

Look for the following elements in articles you find.  Research articles contain most or all of these sections.  Look in particular for a "methods" section.

  • Abstract: A summary of the article
  • Introduction and statement of the problem
  • Hypothesis
  • Experimental methods & materials
  • Data collection
  • Analysis
  • Conclusions and recommendations for further research
  • List of sources used
  • Author’s institutional affiliation
  • Date of submission, revision, and acceptance

Look also for a scholarly writing style and the use of a very precise, scientific vocabulary.  This is often apparent in the journal's title, which can be lengthy and loaded with pertinent key words. 

Research articles may also include charts, graphs, maps, and other illustrations that visually display data results. 

Original Research Article or Literature Review?

Primary/Original Research Article Features

  • Introduction/Overview of Study
  • Methodology
  • May include Literature Review
  • Findings/Results
  • Discussion
  • Areas for Future Research
  • Conclusions
  • References

A Primary Research Article may not include all sections but these are sections to look for.  This differs from Literature Review Articles as shown below:

Literature Review Article Features

  • Introduction will include many studies
  • Overview will be given of findings that can be generalized.
  • Areas for Future Research
  • Conclusions
  • References

Where to find Primary Research?

Cycle of Research

Cycle of Research: Idea, Literature Review, Experiment, Research Article, News/Social Media

Ordering articles through Interlibrary Loan

You can order articles and books from other libraries with Interlibrary Loan.  Articles typically arrive within 2-3 days of ordering and are sent directly to your e-mail. Books may take over a week to arrive, so be sure to order with plenty of time before your assignment is due.

  • If you are searching in a database, click the Find It!  link.
    • Click Request a Copy via Interlibrary Loan to order the article.
    • Choose UW-Colleges as your campus and log-in with your username/password.
    • Click Submit Request to finalize your article order.
  • If you need articles immediately, use the FULL TEXT button available in most databases. It will limit the articles found to only those that you can view and print immediately.