An empirical research article is an article which reports research based on actual observations or experiments.
The research may use quantitative research methods, which generate numerical data and seek to establish causal relationships between two or more variables.
Empirical research articles may use qualitative research methods, which objectively and critically analyze behaviors, beliefs, feelings, or values with few or no numerical data available for analysis.
The video below provides a good, short overview.
-Information in this guide is used with permission from Wilson Library at the University of LaVerne