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PSYC 217/BIOL 217: Behavioral Neuroscience (HC) Fall 2018

Psychology/Biology 217: Behavioral Neuroscience (Been)

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

*You are required to find empirical articles published in scholarly journals (plus possible supplemental review articles).

Primary literature (e.g. empirical articles)

  • An empirical research article in the sciences reports the findings of original research done by the authors of the article. 
  • Empirical research articles are usually published in peer-reviewed journals.
  • An empirical research article poses a research question or states a hypothesis.
  • To determine whether or not you've found an empirical 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 empirical research articles. In doing so, review literature often gives a broader view of the current state of understanding in a given topic area.