Welcome to the course guide for FENT 235. This guide describes databases and search tools that you can use to find information at the duPont-Ball Library and on the web, as well as search tips and information about library services.
These databases have credible sources but are not necessarily academic (or peer-reviewed).
Here we will compare an academic article versus a newspaper article. These are two credible sources on the subject but they are vastly different.
Empirical Research is based on observed and measured phenomena. It is research that derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief.
To locate empirical research in the library's databases, look for the article to mention a study, an observation, an analysis or a number of participants or subjects. Was data collected, a survey or questionnaire administered, an assessment or measurement used, an interview conducted? All of these terms indicate possible methodologies used in empirical research.
Empirical articles often contain these sections:
The sections may be combined, and may have different headings or no headings at all; however, the information that would fall within these sections should be present in an empirical article. Other synonyms for these types of articles will be "scholarly, peer-reviewed, or refereed" articles
A literature review is a comprehensive summary of previous research on a topic. The literature review surveys scholarly articles, books, and other sources relevant to a particular area of research. The review should enumerate, describe, summarize, objectively evaluate and clarify this previous research. It should give a theoretical base for the research and help you (the author) determine the nature of your research. The literature review acknowledges the work of previous researchers, and in so doing, assures the reader that your work has been well conceived. It is assumed that by mentioning a previous work in the field of study, that the author has read, evaluated, and assimilated that work into the work at hand.
A literature review creates a "landscape" for the reader, giving her or him a full understanding of the developments in the field. This landscape informs the reader that the author has indeed assimilated all (or the vast majority of) previous, significant works in the field into her or his research.
Review articles. Sometimes categorized as a literature review in a database, a review article is a survey of articles on a topic with findings summarized. This provides the reader with the current state of research in a field or research area.