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BIOL 4030: Physiological Ecology

Resources for your presentation and extra-credit assignments.

Databases - Journal Articles and Conference Proceedings



Databases - Newspaper and Magazine Articles (additional resources for extra-credit paper)

Primary and Secondary Sources

Often when doing a research assignment, you are required to use only primary or secondary sources. What is the difference between them?

Primary sources in science are based on first-hand observation, experimentation, or modeling and report 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

When searching for articles, you can find a primary source by adding [study] to your search terms and can find a secondary source by adding [review] to your search terms. These terms appear in the abstracts of the journal articles.

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