Skip to Main Content

Global Public Health Research Guide: Types of Research Articles

Types of Articles

Peer-reviewed article are articles that have undergone a rigorous review process, by peers in their discipline, before publication in a scholarly journal. They can include:

  • Primary articles (Empirical studies)
  • Review articles
  • systematic review
  • Meta-analyses among others

Primary Article

(or Empirical Study)

Review Article Systematic Review Meta-analyses

An empirical study is one that aims to gain new knowledge on a topic through direct or indirect observation and research. These include quantitative or qualitative data and analysis. Will often include sections:

  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
Provides a synthesis of existing research on a particular topic. These are useful when you want to get an idea of a body of research that you are not yet familiar with. It differs from a systematic review in that it does not aim to capture ALL of the research on a particular topic. A methodical  thorough literature review focused on a particular research question. It's aim is to identify and synthesize all of the scholarly research on a particular topic in an unbiased, reproducible way to provide evidence for practice and policy making. Research study that combines or contrasts data from different independent studies in a new analysis in order to strengthen the understanding of a particular topic.

Adapted from: Tutorial: Scholarly Literature Types: Peer Review by Cornell University

Qualitative vs. Quantitative

Xavier University has an excellent handout on the differences between qualitative and quantitative research -

Types of Research within Qualitative and Quantitative Articles from Ebling Library at U of Wisconson -