Research In Brief: Publication Types

In 2016 we began the Research In Focus series, highlighting new and interesting findings from NIDILRR-funded studies, presented in a reader-friendly format. As a follow up, we offer our occasional series Research In Brief, where we break down some of the terms you might find in peer-reviewed studies.

In this month’s Research in Brief, we explore different types of research publications that you might encounter:

  • A research article is a written description of one or more studies, what the researchers found, and what the findings mean. Research articles are usually “peer-reviewed” before being published in research journals. This means that other researchers read and critique the article and decide if the findings are strong enough to be published. Articles are often revised one or more times before being published, and some research journals only publish a small percentage of the articles they receive. So, published research articles often present strong, polished research findings.
  • A conference poster or conference paper is a description of research that is presented at an academic conference, either in print on a poster or in an oral presentation. Conference posters and papers tend to highlight newer research that is “hot off the press” and studies that are still ongoing. Conference papers may go through some peer review, but not at the level of a research article.
  • A review article is a written paper that summarizes the research on a specific topic. A review article may comment on the quality of recent studies on the topic, what the majority of the studies have found, as well as areas of disagreement, recommendations based on the findings, and suggestions for future research. Reading a review article is a good way to learn where the research stands on a particular topic.

More than 125 Research In Focus articles are available to read, download, and share in English and in Spanish. These summaries cover a wide array of topics, including intervention studies, technology development, population studies, and much more.

NARIC’s REHABDATA database indexes more than 200,000 research publications, with 3,000 abstracts added each year from US and international research communities. More than 500 publications from NIDILRR-funded studies are added each year. These publications cover research and development across the disability spectrum and across the life span. Explore the REHABDATA database by keyword, browse through the latest acquisitions, or conduct your own search online.

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