What is a research article?
Empirical research articles report research based on actual observations or experiments. This research may use quantitative or qualitative methods. Quantitative research seeks to make deductions based on numerical data. Qualitative research analyzes mostly non-numerical sources such as observations, interviews and records. Abstracts of research articles will typically mention some sort of study or test, a methodology, and the data collected. In addition to an abstract, research articles normally have these sections:
What is a systematic review?
A systematic review is defined as “a review of the evidence on a clearly formulated question that uses systematic and explicit methods to identify, select and critically appraise relevant primary research, and to extract and analyze data from the studies that are included in the review.” The methods used must be reproducible and transparent.
What is a meta-analysis?
A subset of systematic reviews; a method for systematically combining pertinent qualitative and quantitative study data from several selected studies to develop a single conclusion that has greater statistical power. This conclusion is statistically stronger than the analysis of any single study, due to increased numbers of subjects, greater diversity among subjects, or accumulated effects and results.