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Research Article/Infographic Assignment: Find a Research Article

If you have an assignment to design an infographic based on an original research article, this is the guide for you!


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If you have an assignment to design an infographic based on an original research article, this is the guide for you!


There are different types of scholarly journal articles.


Review article, also known as a literature review.  The sole purpose of a review article is to provide an overview of previous important research on a particular topic.  The authors are looking at other people's research.  EXAMPLE: Peer Support Facilitates Post-traumatic Growth in First Responders: A Literature Review.

Systematic review article.  This type of article is similar to a literature review but has greater depth.  A systematic review usually focuses on a single, well-defined research question and seeks to comprehensively gather all existing studies that address this research question rather than a selection to provide an overview.  The authors are looking at other people's research.  EXAMPLE: A Systematic Review of Environmental Intervention Studies in Offices with Beneficial Effects on Workers’ Health, Well-being and Productivity.

Meta-analysis article.  A meta-analysis article looks at several research articles on a topic, then analyzes the findings in a new way.  The authors are looking at other people's research.  EXAMPLE: Eating-disorder Psychopathology in Female Athletes and Non-athletes: A Meta-analysis.

Opinion Piece/Point of View/Editorial.  These types of articles highlight the personal opinions of the authors.  EXAMPLE: Mindfulness in Sport and Exercise Psychology.


Research article, also known as original research article, or original scientific article.  This type of article presents the research conducted by the authors.  The authors go into detail about how they conducted the research, what they thought they would find, the results they got, etc.   EXAMPLE: Situational Interest Impacts College Students’ Physical Activity in a Design-based Bike Exergame.

How can I be sure that it's a research article?

Sometimes, depending on which database you are searching, there will be icons, labels, or tags that tell you what type of article you are looking at.  But in case there aren't:

  • Find the full text of the article.
  • Find the section of the article called method, methods, or methodology.
  • Read it carefully to see if the authors are talking about their own original research.


Library Databases

1. On the library's website, click the Choose a Database button.

2. On the next screen, if your assignment is for a kinesiology class, click Kinesiology.  For a psychology class, click Psychology, etc.

3. Now you will see the list of databases for the subject you clicked.  Click on one to start searching.

Kinesiology students, here are video tutorials for four of the kinesiology databases.

Psychology students, if you use the PsycINFO database's advanced search (there's a link to it underneath the basic search box), scroll down to Methodology and click on Empirical Study before you enter and run your keyword search.

The methodology option with empirical study selected.

This will lead you to research articles.  An empirical study measures something which produces data.  Many research articles include this approach.

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