Answered By: Judith Jablonski
Last Updated: Mar 07, 2017     Views: 1014

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines an experiment as “A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, to examine the validity of a hypothesis, or to determine the efficacy of something previously untried.” [Source]

One characteristic of an experiment is the use of a control group. A control group is used "To verify or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or by comparing with another standard." [Source]


Here are some search tips that will help you locate experimental research articles in the library's databases:

  • You can include keywords in your search statement.

    • motor learning AND experiment
    • teaching methods AND controlled experiment
    • fibromyalgia AND experimental study
    • fibromyalgia AND evidence based study
  • Some databases let you search  by methodology. This is typically found in the DOCUMENT TYPE field.
    Here are a few examples. (This is not a complete listing but gives you an idea of what to look for.)
    • Applied Science & Technology Source: Under Document Type select Science Experiment.
    • CINAHL Complete: Select the Evidence Based Practice or Randomized Controlled Trials options.
    • GreenFILE: Under Document Type select Science Experiment
    • PsycINFO: See this YouTube video from APA on using the methodology limiter in ProQuest:

If you are interested in learning more about experiments as as a research method, see the SAGE Research Methods tool. The SRM is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. Includes full-text to SAGE book, journal and reference content. Search the following terms:

  • experiment
  • experimental groups
  • control group
  • randomised control trials *
  • randomized control *

    *The SRM is a UK-based product and uses both British & American spelling.


This FAQ from our LibAnswers Knowledge Base shows how to locate the above databases (and all other databases)  in the APUS Library: Where can I find my favorite library database?

Below are related FAQs.