Research articles follow a particular format. Look for:
There are many other types of study designs or research designs. You can learn more by following the links below.
"A research article is a primary source...that is, it reports the methods and results of an original study performed by the authors. The kind of study may vary (it could have been an experiment, survey, interview, etc.), but in all cases, raw data have been collected and analyzed by the authors, and conclusions drawn from the results of that analysis.
A review article is a secondary source...it is written about other articles, and does not report original research of its own. Review articles are very important, as they draw upon the articles that they review to suggest new research directions, to strengthen support for existing theories and/or identify patterns among existing research studies. For student researchers, review articles provide a great overview of the existing literature on a topic. If you find a literature review that fits your topic, take a look at its references/works cited list for leads on other relevant articles and books!"
From http://apus.libanswers.com/a.php?qid=153014, "What's the difference between a research and a review article?"
"A summary of the clinical literature. A systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of all research studies that address a particular clinical issue. The researchers use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic using a set of specific criteria. A systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The systematic review may also include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis" -taken from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Glossary (no longer online).
"A way of combining data from many different research studies. A meta-analysis is a statistical process that combines the findings from individual studies" -taken from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Glossary (no longer online).
Image from TeachEPI.org