What is research?
Research can be categorized in many different ways:
What do all types of research have in common?
Sometimes the authors indicate the study type or design in the title of the article.
Abstract: Look for key phrases such as the following.
"This study examines..."
"The purpose of this study was to..."
"The study's findings support..."
"The results of this study confirm..."
Examine the article for a structured outline such as the IMRAD format.
Introduction (Background, Objective)
Bibliographic databases usually identify the publication type of a given article. Type of publication or subject headings can often include the type of research methodology used in the article. The organizations who funded the study may be identified. NOTE: there is a delay before an article is indexed in a databases, so this will not work with very recent articles.
NOTE: The best way to determine if an article is a research report is to read it. Having determined that the article does describe a research study, the next step is to evaluate how well the research was done.