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Anatomy of a Research Article
Key Elements of a Research Article:
1. The Citation Information: Authors, Article Title, Journal Information, including Journal Title, Volume & Issue, Date of Publication, Page Numbers, and Publisher:
- Multiple authors is common in research, as research is complex and may even involve multiple study centers.
2. The Abstract:
3. The Introduction
- The introduction lays out the research study, stating why the research was undertaken, what the authors expected to find, and where existing research in the field stands.
4. In-Text Citations & Contact Info:
- Scholarship is a conversation. In-text citations document the conversation and show what scholarship the authors are building on, refuting, etc.
- Track down citations to read more.
- Authors provide affiliations, contact info, and credit to participants.
5. The Methodology:
- The goal of a research study is to be transparent and demonstrate how the authors arrived at their conclusions.
- The method section lays out the methodology used for the study, number of participants, etc.
- Research should be able to be reproduced so that conclusions may be verified. The methodology provides a roadmap to reproduction.
6. The Results:
- The results section of the study presents the authors' raw data. Charts, tables, graphs, equations, etc. illustrate the findings.
7. Data set up for comparison - Tables and Charts:
8. The Discussion/ Conclusion:
- The discussion / conclusion of the study ( often the discussion and conclusion are collapsed into one ) states what the authors learned and what they didn't learn. It may suggest steps for further research or policy decisions.
9. The References:
- Academic literature always gives credit for ideas. Read the references list for leads to related research.
Want to see the entire article? Open the link below.
Reading a Scientific Paper
Open the link above for a brief tutorial on Reading a Scientific Paper (from the Purdue University Library).
The tutorial provides an overview of reading scientific literature - why we do it and how to do it effectively.