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Psychology Research: Finding Empirical Articles

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PsycINFO and PsycARTICLES are two APA databases that include a limiter for Empirical Study. When you limit your search to Empirical Study, all the search results will be empirical studies. 

The APA defines an empirical study as a "Study based on facts, systematic observation, or experiment, rather than theory or general philosophical principle." An empirical research article reports on the results of research that uses data collected from observation or experiment. Empirical research articles are primary research articles.

Empirical Studies:

  • Type your search terms into the search boxes.

  • On the Advanced Search screen, scroll down to Methodology, and select EMPIRICAL STUDY.

  • Click Search.


Advanced Search from PsycInfo. Empirical Study has been selected from the box titled Methodology




Advanced Search page from PsycARTICLEs. Under Methodology, Empirical Study has been selected.

As you search in the database, you can select certain options, known as limiters, to make your search results fit with your research needs or the instructions in your assignment. Often, professors provide guidelines on the type of publication or when the article was published.

Common Limiters 


Full Text 

  • All your search results will be Full text. 


Peer Reviewed 

  •  Search results will only include articles that are Peer Reviewed. 


Date Range

  •  Search results published within a certain date range.

The EBSCOhost databases have several features to help manage your research results. 



Create a free account in EBSCOhost to save item records or searches. 

  • Go into any EBSCOhost database

  • Click on Sign In

  • Click on Create a new Account

  • Fill in the information

    • You do not have to use your BlazeVIEW username or password, this is an entirely separate system

    • Your password must be "strong" or the system will not accept it

  • Once you are logged into an EBSCOhost database, you will see a small yellow icon that reads "My"


Save item records in your folder.

  • When you find a book record, article record, etc. that you want to keep...

  • Click on the blue folder icon to add it to your folder

    • The blue folder icon is available on the search results page and in the item's record


Warning! If you add a record to your folder but you are not logged in, it will disappear when you close the browser. Be sure you are logged in!