Research articles report on new, original research. They are published in academic journals. Many, but not all, academic journals use a "peer review" process, also sometimes called "refereed". This is an anonymous process in which experts in the discipline evaluate articles submitted for publication to ensure that the submission employs sound methodology and contains high quality content.
Typically a research article consists of : an abstract; a review of the literature; a statement of hypothesis, query or problem; a description of methodology; an analysis of data; and discussion. The discussion may contain interpretive elements concerning the data.