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BSC 1011C (Laurent) : Finding Journal Articles

A guide to assist students with research assignments in Professor Laurent's Fundamentals of Biology II class at the Poinciana Campus.

Finding Original Research Articles

View this video to learn how to search a scholarly database, Academic Search Complete, to find original or empirical articles.

What is an Empirical Article?

The two presentation assignments require you to find empirical articles, articles based on original scientific research. An empirical article is an article from the library databases that presents research that is based on actual observations or experiments conducted by the author. 

How can I tell if an article is empirical study?

  • Check the sourceEmpirical articles are usually found in scholarly journals, not magazines or newspapers. Journals like Genetics and Animal Biology both publish studies that are empirical. 
  • Read the abstract (summary): If it mentions any study, questionnaires, participants, or measurements that the author conducted, it is empirical.
  • Format: Many empirical articles are broken down into sections, such as "Methodology", "Results", and "Conclusion." Finding these or similar headings in an article is a good indication that it involves a study or experiment.
  • Length: Empirical articles are usually very lenghty, at least 5 pages.
  • References: Does the article have references listed at the end? Scholarly researchers have to cite their sources, just like you!

If in doubt, always ask your instructor or a librarian!

Search Tips

Science Databases


GreenFILE offers a unique perspective on the positive and negative ways humans affect the environment. Drawing on the connection between the environment and disciplines such as agriculture, education, law, health, and technology, GreenFILE serves as an informative resource for anyone concerned about the issues facing our planet.


MEDLINE with Full Text is an essential tool for medical research providing full text for thousands of medical journals. These journals cover a wide range of subjects within the biomedical and health fields.


Product - Products -

Science provides access to relative information on hundreds of today's most significant science topics.


Springer eJournal Collection provides full-text access to various topics, including science.

PubMed (free database)

PubMed is a free database that comprises more than 22 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher websites.

Multi-Disciplinary Database

Academic Search Complete is a multi-disciplinary database with access to articles from many disciplines such as Literature, Health, Science, Business, and more.


Academic OneFile contains peer-reviewed, full-text articles from leading journals and reference sources and includes coverage of the physical sciences, technology, medicine, and other subjects.


Global Issues offers global perspectives on issues of international importance and current world events and topics in the news related to these issues. Global Issues in Context ties together various sources to present a rich analysis of social, political, military, economic, environmental, science, health, and cultural issues.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar Search
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