Among scientific articles, research articles are the most common. Research articles are generally considered the culmination of research projects, presenting original results made from complete research projects and building on previous studies to make a significant contribution to a scientific field. Learn everything you need to know about research articles before your first publication.

What is a research article and what is its construction?

Scientific articles such as research articles cannot be confused with other types of articles, due to their specific structure, and salient role. Research articles aim to develop scientific knowledge by giving empirical evidence.

The main parts of a research article are: introduction, theoretical background or literature review, research methods, results, discussion and conclusion. In the beginning, there is an abstract, and a reference list at the end. Sometimes there is an appendix with extra information. Of course the structure may be modified, and it depends on the research field.

Authors often choose the keywords and subject codes, linked to a research paper, allowing readers to find the articles in databases.

Research articles may also be divided into categories according to their peer review type. A single-blind review happens when the authors don’t know the reviewers, who know the authors. Double-blind review means the authors and reviewers lack knowledge of their names. In case of an open review all the parties know exactly who they are.

Types of research articles

Research articles may vary, according to the characteristic features, and they can be classified depending on the research purpose and the methods used.

In theoretical articles, principles are presented, models are constructed, and computations or abstract proofs of theorems are contained.

By contrast, observations or experiments report on real-life or virtual data collected, analyzed, and drawn conclusions; they often test or verify theoretical models.

The importance of research articles

The publication of the research articles is connected with JIF (journal impact factor), which decides on the ranking of journals. JIF tells us how many times a journal article is quoted. Publishing research papers of the highest quality, and serious research results, will attract more readers to your work.

What is not considered a research article

It’s important to know what publications may not be considered as scientific works:

  •  Information presented in separate publications or oral presentations, summarized and repeated in abstracts.
  • Addendum, usually written by the author previously publishing a research article. This publication gives further information, presents a different point of view to another work.
  • Medical and social sciences are the most common fields where case reports are used. They focus on one medical phenomenon in detail.
  • Dissertations are written as they’re required to fulfill a scientific degree. The findings from the thesis may also be presented in research papers.

Other names of research articles

Journalists may use different names to describe a research article, such as Original Paper and Research Report, but there are more combinations too.

Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) standard defines the coding journal editors need to use to describe the content and metadata of research articles.

JATS standard has its limitations too, for example in case of finding the category for it, yet sometimes articles don’t fit any of the categories you want  to attribute.