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Empirical Research   Tags: empirical research primary research studies study  

Last Updated: Nov 5, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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What is an empirical research study?

PowerPoint presentation on identifying characteristics of empirical research from the University of New Haven libraries.


What does empirical research mean?

The Criminal Justice Dictionary provides these definitions:

Empirical Research: Investigation or inquiry which is based on empirical facts. (pg. 71)

Empirical: Based upon facts gathered from observation, experience or experiment. (pg. 71)

Citation: Beckman, Erik. The Criminal Justice Dictionary. Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, Inc. 1983.

Searching Databases for Empirical Research

Empirical research articles are published in scholarly, peer-reviewed journals. These journals are easily found using databases that are specific to Criminal Justice or Psychology. Below are some of the most commonly used Criminal Justice Databases and hints for limiting your search to empirical research articles in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text
    Searchable abstracts and full-text journal articles, including peer reviewed scholarly articles covering all aspect of Criminal Justice.

    Hints to narrow down your results to locate a possible Empirical study:
    •Go to the "Advanced Search" page
    •Scroll down and select "peer reviewed" articles
    •Scroll down and under "Document Type" select "Article"
    •Enter your search terms or phrases in separate boxes
    •Optional: In a separate box, add the term "Study"
    •Hit search
  • PsycINFO  
    Searchable abstracts and full-text journals articles, including peer-reviewed scholarly articles in the field of psychology.

    To locate an Empirical Study:
    •Go to the "Advanced Search" page
    •Scroll down until you see the limiter "Methodology" on right side of page
    •Select "Empirical Study"
    •Scroll to the top and enter your search terms or phrases
  • Discovery/Search box library homepage  
    Search for "empirical research" (in quotes) or study in addition to your keywords.

Subject Librarian

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Jodi Shepherd
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California State University, Chico
Meriam Library 95929-0295
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