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NFS 4021 Contemporary Topics in Nutrition: Research Articles vs Review Articles

Course Guide for NFS 4021. This is a great starting place for your research.

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Randa Lopez Morgan
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Research Articles and Review Articles Defined Review

"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.

review article is a secondary 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, "What's the difference between a research and a review article?"

Difference between Reviews and Research Articles

Review Article: Identifies previously published research on a topic and summarizes the information (secondary source). Discusses what is already known and can be used to identify gaps in the field.  Usually no set layout. No original research is being presented. Written for a more general audience and easier to read. Both Written by a subject expert such as a scientist or researcher. Can be published in a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal. Research Article: Follows the scientific method. Usually provides a brief background on prior research (introduction) Conducts an experiment and reports the findings. Authors have NEW original research data (primary source) and discusses their results. Written at an advanced level; usually contains lots of jargon.

Research Article Break Down Review

Research articles follow a particular format.  Look for:

  • A brief introduction will often include a review of the existing literature on the topic studied, and explain the rationale of the author's study.
  • methods section, where authors describe how they collected and analyzed data.  Statistical analysis are included.  
  • results section describes the outcomes of the data analysis.  Charts and graphs illustrating the results are typically included.
  • In the discussion, authors will explain their interpretation of their results and theorize on their importance to existing and future research.
  • References or works cited are always included.  These are the articles and books that the authors drew upon to plan their study and to support their discussion.
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