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Biology 101 Information Literacy Lab. Primary and Secondary Sources Bankier Library February 2011 Steve Chudnick. Scientific Information. How we Create, Access, and Communicate Science . Published Scientific Information of All Types. Other Scientists anywhere in the world.
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Biology 101Information Literacy Lab Primary and Secondary Sources Bankier Library February 2011 Steve Chudnick
Scientific Information How we Create, Access, and Communicate Science
PublishedScientific Information of All Types Other Scientists anywhere in the world. Primary Researchers in their own Laboratories Computer Databases : Searchable with Articles, Data, etc.
Scientific Information Types of Literature
Types of Scientific Literature • Primary Literature • Original Research Work • Secondary Literature • Popular Press Articles • Reviews, Updates
Primary Literature Resources • Include: • Original Research Articles • Conference Proceedings • Provide: • Original research presented by experimenters • Quality control • “peer-review” by fellow scientists
Primary Literature Resources • Benefits: • Detailed description of experiments • References to other experiments and scientists in the field • Source material for latest findings • Limitations: • Narrow in focus • Difficult to read • Requires level of expertise in specific area
Secondary Literature Resources • Include: • Review Articles in Scientific Journals • Annual Reviews • Books and Textbooks • Provide: • Summaries of scientific work • Perspective • Facts
Secondary Literature Resources • Benefits: • Give overviews of topics • Synthesize and summarize past scientific works • Written to engage broader audiences than just scientists • Limitations • Not the original source of the information • Lack detailed description of individual experiments
Popular Press Articles • Are a particular type of Secondary Literature found in newspapers, magazines and websites. • Are often the first place the public learns of a scientific discovery or new research • Provide a summary of scientific findings written for the general public • More likely to be written by Science Journalists as opposed to full-time Scientists
Popular Press Articles • Benefits • Distributed to wide audience • Written for non-scientists • Limitations • Not always written by experts in the field • Must be carefully evaluated before using in formal scientific work
Finding Articles Selecting and Using Our Databases
The Good and the Bad of Online Journal Articles • Pros • Can give most up-to-date information • Short and concise – unlike a book • Can trace development of topics over time • 1000s of articles from 1000s of journals • Cons • 1000s of articles from 1000s of journals • Information sometimes too detailed • Need to have access to and know how to use the databases
Databases to Use • For Primary and Secondary Source Articles • Academic Search Premiere (General) • BioMed Central (Primary Research) • JSTOR (Subject Specific)
Using Articles Evaluation and Citation
Determining what you have… • Does the article have a catchy title and fancy graphics? • Are various people being profiled or interviewed? • Is the article written so that the general public can understand the material? • Does the article refer to other articles, studies and experiments? • Is the article reviewing multiple experiments? If so, you have yourself a Secondary Source and probably a Popular Press article…
Determining what you have… • Does the article document the results of one experiment? • Are there lots of graphs, charts, and data? • Is the title of the article a mouthful? • Are there multiple authors? • Is there an abstract and an extensive list of references? If so, you have yourself a Primary Source research article…
Evaluate Your Resources Why would you use/not use this article? • Is it at the appropriate level for your assignment? • Is it appropriate material for your target audience? • Is the material presented clearly and free from typographical and factual errors?
Evaluation of a Scientific Paper • What the Pros look for in addition to content… • Are the authors well-known in the scientific community? • Do the authors list their affiliations (i.e., government organization, university)? • Is the Journal or book publisher reputable? • Is a comprehensive list of references included?
Citing Sources – What it Looks Like When Cited Properly References Ghazoul, J. (2007, December). Challenges to the Uptake of the Ecosystem Service Rationale for Conservation. Conservation Biology, 21(6), 1651-1652. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00758.x Author Volume Title Issue Journal Pages Publication Date DOI #
Citing Sources • APA Style Handbook – just ask a librarian at the Help Desk for assistance. • Diana Hacker’s Guide -- this site will show you how to do both in-text citations and a reference list. Be sure to utilize the menu under Documenting Sources for loads of examples. • Noodle Tools – Noodle Tools is a software program that helps you put together works cited pages and reference lists. Follow the instructions and you will not have to worry about the formatting of your pages, only inputting the correct citation information. Here is a link to a tutorial for getting started.
FYI A Few More Things
Scientific Literature • Academic Journals can contain BOTH Primary and Secondary Source Material • Popular Press Magazines ONLY contain Secondary Source Material • Web Resources can have all three types of material: Reference, Secondary and Primary
Combining Search Terms:For Narrowing and Expanding Results Photosynthesis OR Climate Change Photosynthesis AND Climate Change Photosynthesis NOT Climate Change
Questions and Comments Steve Chudnick email@example.com (732)224-2482