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In the scientific literature, different types of articles are published every year. Original research articles are often the first thing you think of when you hear the word “journal article”. In fact, research often leads to a complete mix of different outputs, and it is not just the final research paper that can be published.

The types of publications are different in different fields. For example, clinical trials are only possible in the medical field, while empirical study is more common in the social sciences. It is important to remember that not all journal publish every type of article. Therefore, most journal publishers provide specific guidelines for potential authors for the various articles they publish. Details of the types of articles published can be found in the author’s instructions on a journal’s website. If you have a journal in mind, you should consider whether it publishes the type of manuscript you want to write.

Some of the possible types of scientific publications are:


various research

Original research

This is the most common type of journal manuscript that report the complete findings of research data. Depending on the journal, these articles can be original, a research paper, a research paper, or just an article. These are detailed studies reporting original research and are classified as primary literature. They include hypothesis, ­­introduction, material and methods, results, interpretation of findings, and a discussion of possible implications. Original research articles are long, with the word limit ranging from 3000 to 6000, and can even go up to 12,000 words for some journals. These require a significant investment of time.

Review article

The review articles provide a critical and constructive analysis of the published literature in a field. They aim to provide a summary of existing literature, analysis, and comparisons. They often identify specific gaps or problems and make recommendations for future research.

Unlike main research articles, review articles are considered secondary literature. This means that they usually do not provide new data from the author’s empirical work, but instead provide an analysis or interpretation of a set of initial research on a particular topic.

There are three main types of review articles:

Literature review

Provides current knowledge including basic findings as well as theoretical and methodological assistance to a specific topic.

Systematic Review

Identifies, evaluates, and combines all empirical evidence that meets pre-determined eligibility criteria to answer a specific research question. Researchers who conduct systematic reviews use explicit and systematic methods to minimize bias and obtain more reliable findings for decision making.


A quantitative, formal, and epidemiological study design is to systematically evaluate the results of previous research to draw conclusions about that set of research. Normally, but not necessarily, a meta-analysis study is based on randomized and controlled clinical trials.

Case study

These articles report specific cases of interesting phenomena. The purpose of case studies is to inform other researchers about the possibility of a particular phenomenon. This type of study is common in medicine to report the occurrence of previously unknown or emerging pathologies.

Clinical trial

This type of article is for medical disciplines that describes the performance and results of controlled studies, usually performed with large groups of patients. Clinical trial articles are also long. As a major research paper, clinical trials also require practical work experience as well as high standards of ethics and reliability. Therefore, this format is more useful for experienced researchers.

Book review

Most academic journals publish book reviews. The purpose of the book review is to provide insights and opinions on recent scientific books. Book reviews are also relatively short articles and take less time. Book reviews are a good option for early researchers to publish, as they allow the researcher to become acquainted with new literature in the field while adding to their list of publications.

Methods article

These articles present a new experimental method, test or procedure. The method described may either be completely new, or may offer a better version of an existing method. The article should describe a demonstrable advance in what is currently available.

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