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        Types of Research Articles to Boost Your Research Profile

        • calenderJun 14, 2022
        • calender 6 min read

        Academia is a vast and diverse world. While the pursuit of knowledge is a goal common to all its participants, they often use different methodologies to arrive there. Since there are different ways of conducting research, there are different types of research articles to present it.

        Let’s go through them one by one.

        Types of research articles

        The research paper that comes to mind when you think of a “journal article” is called original research. This is only one kind of research article among many. Aside from the final results of any research query, the method itself yields several different outputs. This kind of secondary writing can be published as supporting work in various formats.

        If you’re only beginning to establish yourself as a researcher, it can help you to publish a few of such articles. Your research profile benefits from having multiple types of research articles under your name.

        The variety in research papers is difficult to cover in the span of a single article. In fact, some journals have types of research articles unique to them! It always helps to undertake a simple survey of the journal you’d like to get your name in. Check for the variety of publishing options it offers, and choose which ones you can benefit from.

        Here are the different types of research articles:

        1. Research article
        2. Brief communication
        3. Registered report
        4. Review article
        5. Dataset
        6. Data notes
        7. Clinical study report
        8. Position paper

        These article types are divided into two major categories: primary literature and secondary literature.

        Primary literature

        Primary literature refers to the papers that represent the direct results of a research activity. As the name suggests, they’re the primary document that a researcher is supposed to compose. The researcher conducts field work, carries out experiments and interviews, and produces original data to put in this article.

        1. Research article

        The most common kind of research papers, original research articles introduce new knowledge in a particular field.

        Original research typically includes the following sections:

        1. Abstract
        2. Introduction
        3. Methodology
        4. Results
        5. Discussion
        6. Conclusion

        While this outline is a fairly standard format, it’s always best to check the specific journal for instructions.

        2. Brief communication

        Also known as a letter, rapid communication, or short report, brief communication is a brief report of data from original research.

        This article is published to help stimulate further research in the field. If crucial data from longer research might prove useful to other researchers, a short report is the way to publish it. In fact, some journals are wholly dedicated to publishing rapid communications.

        This type of article is necessary where the field is dynamic and ever-changing and new data needs to be released immediately. Often, brief communications have a strict length limit. So, all details of research get published only after the researcher puts out an original research article.

        3. Registered report

        A registered report is a type of article where research methodology and study protocol is submitted before the research process begins. So, this article consists of two entries, submitted one after the other:

        1. Study protocol
        2. Original research

        This method helps eliminate publication bias by reviewing methods and proposed analyses before data collection begins. Once the study is complete, the results and discussion section of the article is published by the researcher.

        A registered report helps you get feedback from peers and scholars at an early stage. Based on this, you can adapt or change your methods to fine-tune the process.

        Secondary literature

        Secondary literature, also called desk research, is derived from existing primary sources. It can be a compilation, an evaluation, or a critique of existing original research. Secondary research doesn’t seek to generate new data. It instead uses the data provided from primary research to arrive at its analyses.

        Secondary literature is essential in academia because it provides a broader overview of latest ideas brought forth by primary research. It traces patterns across various studies and identifies research gaps, for which individual research articles lack the scope.

        4. Review article

        As the name suggests, this type of article reviews existing literature in a particular field to offer criticism and analysis. It summarizes previously published research on a topic to provide an overview of what academia has made of it.

        A review article lets the researcher perform a summary, comparison, and analysis of available data. This helps them identify gaps in research or newer problems, and offer recommendations for future research.

        The review article has three important types:

        1. Literature review: Surveys published literature on a topic to summarize the information available. It organizes the data provided by different articles and offers a critical analysis on it.
        2. Systematic review: Identifies articles to analyze in order to answer a specific research question. It follows a clearly defined search strategy and includes its search methodology in the review for transparency.
        3. Meta-analysis: Combines the results of various individual studies. It is a statistical analysis of multiple scientific studies that share the same research topic. A meta-analysis uses statistical methods to eliminate errors from different studies and presents the most accurate results.

        5. Dataset

        Original research aims to present new findings in a field, but this process often takes a long time. The data obtained from experiments and studies can be useful to other researchers.

        Publishing it in the form of a dataset can also help your career. Once the journal or repository gives this dataset a DOI, other researchers can cite it. When people cite your dataset, you get credit for your work.

        Research data comes in many shapes and formats, depending on discipline or subject. Besides data files or spreadsheets, it can come in the form of transcripts, slides, videos, or questionnaires. You can share datasets along with your research, and some journals even require you to do so.

        6. Data notes

        Data notes are a short, peer-reviewed article that describe your data in brief. They make your research more accessible to other researchers. This boosts the impact of your data and lets people cite your research more easily.

        Data notes include methods of data creation and can present a diverse variety of data. Through these, you can publish data from an unpublished article as well as data that didn’t make it into the article. Data notes help reuse research data.

        Data notes don’t feature any analysis. However, you can link them to the article where you have analyzed and discussed the data.

        7. Clinical study report

        In the field of medicine, a clinical study report is a type of article that is based on clinical trials. It documents the methods and practices undertaken in a clinical study. It is similar to original research in terms of length, format, and structure, but its scope is smaller than research articles.

        This study report presents research that uses human volunteers to add to medical knowledge in that field. This may include a specific medicine, or a comparison of two treatments, or a study of placebos.

        8. Position paper

        A position paper is a type of article that represents the writer’s or an entity’s opinion on a given topic. It is also called position piece or brief items, and you may write it in the simple format of a letter to the editor. Position papers are more common in the field of law and politics.

        A position paper helps the writer argue for the validity of their ideas and opinions. For this reason, groups and organizations use it to publicize a set of beliefs or opinions on a given matter. Naturally, one needs to be careful while choosing the arguments in this paper and developing them.

        These eight types of research articles are the most important formats of publishing in academia. You can choose to write any type of article among these and add credit to your profile.

        As your loyal academic editors, of course, we eagerly await your draft. Good luck!



        Prasanna is on a little break from academia and spends his time compiling fiction writing tips. He enjoys poetry, mythology, and drawing lotuses on any surface he can find.

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