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What Is Peer Review?
You are required you to use a peer-reviewed article for your writing assignment, but what does that mean?
- Peer review is the process of having experts in a field review the quality of an article or book before it is published
- Most articles in scholarly and academic journals are peer-reviewed
- Books published by university or academic presses are peer-reviewed
Most databases allow you to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles. Here are two examples:
Academic search complete
An EBSCOhost database of journal articles covering all subject areas and providing many full text articles.
A multidisciplinary journal article database with many full text articles.
What Are Primary Sources?
You are required to use a journal article that is a primary source for your writing assignment. Here are the characterisitics of a primary source in science:
- Based on first-hand observation, experimentation, or modeling
- Reports new research or findings
Examples of primary sources are:
- a journal article reporting new findings from a laboratory
- a report on new findings from a wildlife management study
- the handwritten instructions for how to do a new lab procedure
Secondary sources analyze and interpret primary sources. These are examples in science:
- an article reviewing the last 10 years of published research about penguins (often called a review article or literature review)
- a book about the discovery of DNA structure
- a movie about the life of Charles Darwin