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BIOL 499: Senior Department Studies (HC) Fall 2017

Biology 499: Senior Department Studies (Fairman)

Popular Literature Versus Scholarly Literature

  Popular Scholarly
Author Staff writer; journalist Expert in the field; known credentials
Audience General public Scholars, researchers
Language Little technical language or subject-specific jargon Uses technical language and subject-specific jargon
Coverage Broad topics; shallow coverage; shorter length Narrow topics; in-depth coverage; longer length
Documentation Usually no bibliography Bibliography present
Peer-reviewed? No Often

 

Primary Literature Versus Review Literature

Primary literature

  • A primary research article in the sciences reports the findings of original research done by the authors of the article
  • Primary research articles are usually published in peer-reviewed journals.
  • A primary research article poses a research question or states a hypothesis.
  • To determine whether or not you've found a primary research article, scan the article (or even just the abstract). Look for an introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections

Review literature

  • Review articles in the sciences summarize previously reported findings rather than present new findings, often pulling together the findings of multiple primary research articles. In doing so, review literature often gives a broader view of the current state of understanding in a given topic area.