Research articles and review articles are both found in academic journals. What is the different between them, and how can you tell?
In the social sciences, a research article is a primary source. The authors have completed an original study. Maybe they did a survey, conducted interviews, analyzed artifacts, or did some other kind of experiment to collect data. Then, the authors report their own methods, results, and conclusions.
By contrast, a review article is a secondary source. The authors have not done their own study. Instead, they are reporting on the research done by other people in a specific area of interest. They look at research articles and books written by experts, explain the connections between the ideas, and look for patterns or trends. Review articles are very useful, since you can use the bibliography of review articles to find research articles and books for your own research.
These definitions have been modified from a guide found at http://apus.libanswers.com/a.php?qid=153014, "What's the difference between a research and a review article?"
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