How to read a primary research paper

19,189 views

Published on

Published in: Education, Technology
1 Comment
4 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Thank you for sharing this interesting information here. Great post. And I agree with you that it is really hardly to find a student who enjoys executing college assignments. All these processes require spending much time and efforts, that is why i recommend all the students use the professional writing service DigitalEssay.net Good luck.
       Reply 
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Views
Total views
19,189
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
13,613
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
143
Comments
1
Likes
4
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How to read a primary research paper

  1. 1. How to Reada Primary Research PaperElizabeth WallaceLiaison Librarian forEarth & Atmospheric Sciences<br />
  2. 2. the scholarly record<br />this is the published record of scientific research<br />most of what is commonly accepted to be scientific <br />fact is based on published, peer-reviewed scholarly research<br />and more specifically, primary research<br />primary research is original, empirical research, based on first-handobservation or experiment<br />the peer review process involves having well-qualified individuals in aparticular field of research review a paper prior to its publicationto ensure that the research meets the standards of quality, accuracyand academic integrity established within that field<br />
  3. 3. primary research papers<br />primary research articles are published in academic researchjournals (from commercial publishers, professional societies, academic institutions, etc.)<br />in the natural, physical, and the social sciences, primary researchis presented in the same basic format, covering the key steps in“the scientific method”:<br />1) why we did it<br />2) how we did it<br />3) what we found out<br />4) what we think it means<br />this makes it easy for any reader to follow and understand, and to to quickly locate a particular element of the research<br />
  4. 4. Hydrobiologia (2009) 621:191-205<br />this is a typical primaryresearch article froma peer-reviewed journalpublished by Springer,one of the largestcommercial publishersof scholarly journals<br />you’re rarely going to be lucky enough to comeacross an article thatstates right up front thatit’s a primary researchpaper <br />
  5. 5. title<br />the title of the articledescribes, in as few wordsas possible, exactly whatthe paper is about<br />but it is not so technicalthat only specialists willunderstand it<br />if you find a reference toa paper that has a funnytitle, or one with aninteresting play on words,it’s likely not a researcharticle<br />
  6. 6. author<br />research articles will often have multiple authors<br />the first author is generally the lead researcher andthe person who actually wrote the paper<br />additional authors willhave made a significantcontribution to somepart of the research<br />
  7. 7. author affiliation<br />research collaborationoften takes place between scientistsat different institutions<br />all institutionalaffiliations will be listed<br />
  8. 8. abstract<br />a good abstractsummarizes the whole<br />paper, including theresults<br />reading the abstractcan save you a lot of timewhen you’re searchingthe literature<br />
  9. 9. keywords<br />keywords in the paperare usually assigned bythe author<br />these will be used toindex the article inliterature databases<br />
  10. 10. introduction<br />the introduction is where<br />the authors put their <br />research into context<br />it’s where they make<br />a case for why they’re<br />doing it and why it’s<br />important<br />it provides a brief<br />overview of priorrelated research<br />
  11. 11. introduction<br />it’s where the authorsidentify gaps in knowledgethat they hope to fill in with their own research<br />most of the referencesat the end of the paper come from this section<br />
  12. 12. introduction<br />the introduction is alsothe section where theauthors state veryexplicitly what it is thatthey are attempting toprove or examine in this<br />study<br />
  13. 13. site description<br />in studies that involve field work, the authorsmay provide an additionalsection that describes thesite where the researchtook place<br />
  14. 14. site description<br />this section will usuallyinclude maps, and adescription of the physical features of thelocation<br />
  15. 15. methods<br />the methods section is where the authors explain exactly how they carried out their research<br />this section provides adetailed, step-by-stepexplanation of all of themethods employed<br />
  16. 16. methods<br />there should be enough<br />information provided that<br />another scientist could<br />theoretically replicatethe research and achievethe same results<br />the methods may be<br />presented in multiple<br />sections<br />
  17. 17. results<br />the results section<br />summarizes the main<br />findings of the study<br />
  18. 18. results<br />this section is used only<br />to present the results,<br />not to discuss them<br />the results may be<br />presented in multiple<br />sections<br />
  19. 19. results<br />graphs, tables, etc. are<br />often used to present andsummarize data<br />it’s not necessary to<br />include all of the raw data<br />that has been collected <br />
  20. 20. discussion<br />the discussion section<br />is where the authors talk <br />about the implications of<br />their results<br />do the results support<br />the authors’ original <br />hypotheses?<br />are there different waysto interpret the results?<br />what do the results <br />suggest in terms of<br />future research?<br />
  21. 21. discussion<br />as with the methods andresults, the discussion may <br />be divided into sectionsto cover different aspectsof the study<br />
  22. 22. discussion<br />
  23. 23. summary<br />a summary is notalways included, butsome authors like to<br />provide this if the studyhas many components<br />
  24. 24. acknowledgements<br />this is an optional section<br />where authors can thank<br />those who’ve provided<br />financial support or help<br />with the research or the<br />manuscript<br />
  25. 25. references<br />the references can <br />sometimes end up being <br />the most valuable thing <br />you find in the paper<br />
  26. 26. references<br />no matter how goodyour own research is, there are almost always<br />things listed in thereferences that you didn’t<br />find yourself (or didn’teven think to look for)<br />
  27. 27. other types of scholarly journals<br />letters journal- another type of primary research journal - rapid publication of important research - short articles (2-3 pages) - often based interim work or negative results<br />methods/applications journal<br />- articles describing new research techniques or methodologies <br />
  28. 28. other types of scholarly journals<br />review journals - not primary research - articles that analyze and distill current trends in a specific area of research - very important in providing “the big picture” - can be very long (50 to 60 pages)<br />Science and Nature<br /> - very important research journals, but they include more than just research - both publish different types of research articles (primary research, reviews, letters, etc.) - also include news, opinion papers, book reviews etc. <br />
  29. 29. other types of scholarly literature<br />scholarly literature is not found only in journals, but it isalways based upon some level of peer review:- theses and dissertations (always) - conference papers (sometimes) - books (sometimes)<br />

×