Primary Research vs Review Article

Characteristics of a Primary Research Article

  • Goal is to present the result of original research that makes a new contribution to the body of knowledge
  • Sometimes referred to as an empirical research article
  • Typically organized into sections that include:  Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion/Conclusion, and References.

Example of a Primary Research Article:

Flockhart, D.T.T., Fitz-gerald, B., Brower, L.P., Derbyshire, R., Altizer, S., Hobson, K.A., … Norris, D.R., (2017). Migration distance as a selective episode for wing morphology in a migratory insect. Movement Ecology, 5(1), 1-9. doi:


Characteristics of a Review Article

  • Goal is to summarize important research on a particular topic and to represent the current body of knowledge about that topic.
  • Not intended to provide original research but to help draw connections between research studies that have previously been published.  
  • Help the reader understand how current understanding of a topic has developed over time and identify gaps or inconsistencies that need further exploration.

Example of a Review Article: