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MATH 317 Statistics and Research Methods Laboratory

Research Articles

In the Sciences, primary sources are equal to original primary research. 

Primary Sources in the Sciences:

  • Original research, ideas, or scientific discoveries for the first time
  • Report results/findings/data from experiments or research studies
  • Frequently include methods, results, and discussion sections
  • May also be referred to as primary articles, research articles, clinical trials, control trials, or studies
  • Are frequently found in peer-reviewed or scholarly journals
  • Should explain the research methodology used (randomized controlled trial, etc.)
  • Are factual, not interpretive


Common Structure: 

  • Title: briefly states what the article is about
  • Abstract: summarizes the whole article
  • Introduction: establishes the context for the research: the area in which the research takes place, the research problem, the importance of the research, and the guiding question or hypothesis
  • Methods/Methods & Materials/Methods & Design: describes the research procedure
  • Results: reports the outcomes of the research procedure
  • Discussion: interprets the results, explaining them and comparing them to the results of other experiments 
  • Conclusion: focuses the reader on what is important about the research, its contribution to the larger area of study (can be a part of the discussion)
  • References: lists the sources used in the article


This is a research article based on the following criteria: 

  • Methods
  • Trial Registration Number 
  • Phrases such as "investigate" and "primary endpoint"