MACP, Finding Empirical Research

Identifying types of research involves a combination of both knowledge of database features, as well as experience and education.  Here are some considerations.

Database Functions

The easiest way to identify types of research is by using available database features, such as those in EBSCO Academic database.  For example, when you conduct a search for “Biopsychosocial”, you can immediately scroll down the left side of the screen in EBSCO, and check the “methodology” filter option. You can narrow the results by specific types of studies, such as “Empirical”.


This does not negate, of course, the need for being able to identify an Empirical research via experience and education (you can expand search results with further knowledge of your topic) You will still need to know what constitutes Empirical Research.  One way is by reviewing Libguides. Libguides are good for many academic questions…APA citation, literature reviews, research questions…pretty much everything. When you search for Google for any Academic topic or subject, include the word “libguide” and this will retrieve many pre-vetted sites, mainly on university pages providing key insights into that area you’re investigating. Here is an example of searching for Empirical research and Libguides.


Searching the Database by Terminology: So, you could, for example, re-approach your search using terms such as Biopsychosocial AND (Qualitative OR Quantitative OR Empirical OR etc. Or etc.) You could add specific terms associated with Empirical research. It ‘does not’ guarantee relevancy, but sometimes it can expand results in a challenging search.

Instructor’s Support

If you are having challenges defining or understanding “Empirical Research”, remember to contact your instructor for clarification. Consider posting your question in your course’s “Ask a Question about this Course” forum, so that others can benefit from your question and the Instructor’s response.