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ES 352 - Advanced and Applied Ecology: Getting Started

Primary literature defined

  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

Top Ecology Journals

Articles in these journals will be found through Scopus.

  1. Ecology
  2. Journal of Ecology
  3. Journal of Animal Ecology
  4. Oikos
  5. Oecologia

Want to browse for reviews & trends?

  1. Trends in Ecology & Evolution
  2. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment

These are just a subset of all the ecology journals that Colby subscribes or has access to.

Find Journal Articles

Find more resources under the tab Poster Topics


Need Help? Sciences Librarian

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