Identifying primary and secondary sources in the sciences
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Identifying primary and secondary sources in the sciences






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Identifying primary and secondary sources in the sciences Identifying primary and secondary sources in the sciences Presentation Transcript

  • Identifying primary andsecondary sources in thesciencesBy Jeanne Hoover
  • What is a Primary Source?A primary source is original researchconducted by a scientist.Examples:Lab notebooksLab reportsScholarly research articles
  • What is a Secondary Source?A secondary source seeks out primary sources,analyzes or reviews them and creates a response tothem.Examples:Magazine or news articlesScholarly review articlesEncyclopediasTextbooks
  • You . . .Do an experiment in your You write down your resultsclass These are primary sourcesYou write a research articleon your experiment
  • As a Result of your published article . . .A science journalist reads your A publisher decides to addarticle and references it in his information about your articlearticle in National Geographic in a new Biology textbook These are secondary sources
  • When it gets complicated . . . Most of the scholarly research articles that you find in journals are either original research (primary sources) or review articles (secondary sources). It can be tricky to tell them apart.
  • Similarities Between Original Research Articles and Review Articles  Authors are experts in the field  Academic journals publish them  Typically includes the following sections: Abstract, introduction, and a reference list  Geared towards other scientists and college students  Very technical or advanced in their topic or study
  • Original Research Article or Primary Source Article These articles cover one study or experiment that was completed by the authors The title or topic will be very specific Look for the following sections for clues that you’re looking at a primary source article  Methodology Section explaining how the experiment was setup  Results Section which includes the data or results from the experiment
  • Review Articles or Secondary Source Articles These articles analyze or compare multiple original research articles on a topic (aka. a literature review) The article gives an overview of a specific topic or technique These articles may have “review” in the journal or article title The authors of the article did not do a study or experiment The article usually has headings related to the topic
  • Have More Questions? Ask!Email: askref@ecu.eduPhone: 252-328-6677Website: