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ST 485 - Technology Matters : Peer-Reviewed Literature

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Overview of the Peer-Review Process

What is Primary Literature?

  1. It is where the researcher published their findings first (i.e., the primary place the data is found).
  2. In science, it's usually a journal article outlining methodology, data, results, conclusions.
  3. It will always have a Literature Cited section.
  4. It is the researcher's own words, not summarized by anyone else.
  5. It is found in scholarly journals such as Animal Behaviour, Journal of Geology.
  6. The article will be peer-reviewed (refereed by other experts in the field before publication)

Secondary (review) articles

  • Summarize primary literature articles
  • Help to get a general overview of a topic
  • Written by authorities in the field
  • Often have the word "review" in the title (books as well as articles)

News articles (e.g., Time, New York Times, Natural History, Smithsonian)

  • Not primary literature
  • Might be primary source material for historical purposes however
  • Help identify current issue or organizations to follow up in other sources
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