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...
What is a Secondary Source?A secondary source seeks out primary sources,analyzes or reviews them and creates a response to...
You . . .Do an experiment in your       You write down your resultsclass                                  These are primar...
As a Result of your published article . . .A science journalist reads your      A publisher decides to addarticle and refe...
When it gets complicated . . . Most of the scholarly research articles that you find in  journals are either original res...
Similarities Between Original Research     Articles and Review Articles   Authors are experts in the field   Academic jo...
Original Research Article or        Primary Source Article These articles cover one study or experiment that was  complet...
Review Articles or Secondary          Source Articles These articles analyze or compare multiple original  research artic...
Have More Questions? Ask!Email: askref@ecu.eduPhone: 252-328-6677Website: www.ecu.edu/lib
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Identifying primary and secondary sources in the sciences

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Identifying primary and secondary sources in the sciences

  1. 1. Identifying primary andsecondary sources in thesciencesBy Jeanne Hoover
  2. 2. What is a Primary Source?A primary source is original researchconducted by a scientist.Examples:Lab notebooksLab reportsScholarly research articles
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. You . . .Do an experiment in your You write down your resultsclass These are primary sourcesYou write a research articleon your experiment
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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.
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. Have More Questions? Ask!Email: askref@ecu.eduPhone: 252-328-6677Website: www.ecu.edu/lib

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