Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research Studies

Reading Articles & Identifying Methods

​When critically reading an article, start with the abstract and detailed record (when available) to identify the methodologies used. Note: not all studies will use the exact same language or clues as each other or these examples. 

  1. Start with the title and work your way down through publication type, subjects, abstract, journal subset and instrumentation.
  2. The author(s), journal and database want you to know what the article is, they aren't trying to trick you.
  3. Reviews are reviewing the research, so when you're looking at publication type if you see review AND research, review usually takes precedence.
  4. Mixed methods research uses qualitative AND quantitative, so remember to check for both. 
  5. Are there other criteria for the article you're evaluating? Don't forget those too!

Think you found an article that works? Great!

Remember to read the whole article to be certain!

Using the Abstract

Screen shot of detailed record and abstract with important features circled.

Connect with the MCPHS Libraries via Social Media: Twitter Instagram