Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Occupational Therapy: Types of Sources

Types of Articles in Scholarly Journals

  •  Contain original research
  •  Authors report the results of their own systematic study
  •  Considered a primary source
  •  Look for words in the title or abstract like: empirical, experiment, research or study
  •  Look for information on the participants or the study sample
  •  Look for details about the research method (how they did the study)
  •  Research articles test assumptions and observations made by people and add new knowledge to a field
  •  No original research
  •  Sum up the current state of the research on a particular topic
    •  Great for background information or to learn about a new topic
  •  Good for finding: key players in a field, recent advances or discoveries, gaps in research, current debates on topics, & where research may go next
  •  Use references and citations to find research articles
  •  No original research
  •  Combine data from many studies and arrive at a pooled estimate of treatment effectiveness and statistical significance
  •  Not to be confused with Literature Reviews
  •  Look for information about multiple studies 
  •  No original research
  •  Contribute to the theoretical foundations of a discipline
  •  Presents theoretical framework to guide practice
  •  Look for words like: concepts/conceptual, framework, model, perspectives, theoretical foundation
  •  Not considered scholarly/Not appropriate for research papers
  •  Provide insight and opinion on recently published scholarly books in a field
  •  If the book review looks helpful, try looking up the book!
  •  Not considered scholarly/Not appropriate for research papers
  •  Summary of articles appearing in each issue
  •  If you find a good editorial, try looking at the other articles in the journal issue!

Download this Handout!