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Library Research Guides

Publishing in the Sciences

Key steps and resources for publishing research articles in Science areas.

Research Article: What is it?

A research article reports on a specific, original research project or experiment. When a group of scientists comes up with a research question, forms hypotheses, performs experiments, and analyzes the results in order to answer the original research question, they write a research article describing this whole process to other scientists.

Research articles feature some variation of the following sections:

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • Conclusion




Research Articles are written after experiments are done!

Learn more about writing each of these sections on the next page of this guide.


Example of a Research Article

Here is an example of a research article (click here to take a look at the full article). Look at the heading and the title and compare it to the example of a review article on the right. 

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Review: What is it?

Reviews are different than research articles because they do NOT report on one single research study conducted by the authors. Instead, a review is a report in which the authors read, summarize, and synthesize the majority of the research studies that have been completed in a certain field of study. Some of the elements of a review include:

  • Discussion of the historical development of the current state of knowledge in a certain field
  • Recent developments in the field
  • Gaps or limitations of the work that has already been done
  • Evaluation of this work
  • Suggestions for future research projects

Review articles are written after you have read through the literature on a topic!


Reviews are important to scientists because they are one of the main ways that they keep up with what is going on in their field of study or a related field if they are interested in performing interdisciplinary research. They allow the scientist to read one article and learn about many, many research studies all at once.

Get started writing your own in the "Writing a Review" tab on the "Writing in the Sciences" dropdown menu.




Example of a Review Article

Here is an example of what a review article looks like (click here to read the full article):

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 9.52.51 PM.png

Notice that it says "review" at the top, so you know right away that this is not an article presenting original research.

Learn About Two Major Types of Scientific Literature

On this page, learn more about two types of scientific articles: the research article and the review. There are some important distinctions between the two and understanding these will leave you prepared to write your own!

Look at the overview of each type below to become familiar with them. When you're ready to write, use the dropdown menu on the scientific writing tab to navigate to either the "Writing a Research Article" or "Writing a Review" page for a detailed description of how to write each type of literature.