Answered By: Mary Kaye Hooker
Last Updated: Oct 08, 2018     Views: 106

What is Original Research?


Original research is considered a primary source.

An article is considered original research if...

  • it is the report of a study written by the researchers who actually did the study.
  • the researchers describe their hypothesis or research question and the purpose of the study.
  • the researchers detail their research methods.
  • the results of the research are reported.
  • the researchers interpret their results and discuss possible implications.

How can I Tell if the Article is Original Research?

There is no one way to easily tell if an article is a research article  The only way to be sure is to read the article to verify :

  • that it is written by the researchers
  • that they have explained all of their findings,
  • that they have listed their methodologies, results, and any conclusions based on the evidence collected.  

Key indicators that will help you to quickly decide whether or not the article is based on original research. 

  • View the PDF version so you can plainly see the major subdivisions that should be present in a research article:
    • Literature Review or Background
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Conclusions
    • Discussion
  • Read through the abstract (summary) before you attempt to find the full-text PDF. The abstract of the article usually contains those subdivision headings where each of the key sections are summarized individually. 
  • Use the checkbox with CINAHL's advanced search to only see articles that have been tagged as research articles.   

Please access our Research Basics Page for further information