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BIOL190: Writing and Research Skills for Biologists: Types of Resources

      Books/Non-Expert Reviews                                                Review Articles                                    Primary Papers/Original Research

Book/non-expert reviews

Books and non-expert reviews are important to research.  For those who are not experts in the field, these resources will provide understanding of the fundamental theories, principals, terms, and players.  Many of these resources are written by experts in the field but presented for the average, interested reader (some books are advanced).  Keep an eye out for keywords to search for more in-depth resources and the citations or further suggested reading information, usually found at the end of the chapter/article/book.

What is a review article?

In review articles, the author(s) summarize the literature (study/research) articles that have been written within a topic or discipline.  This review is usually evaluative.  These articles help researchers keep up to date on a given topic or discipline. These articles do not present original research. Review articles are scholarly.  For an example, check out this article.

How do I know if I have a review article?

A review article will have a lot of citations at then end.  It will not have the parts of a primary paper (some may contain graphics).

What is a primary paper?

A study article, also referred to as a primary paper or an original research article, is where author(s) present their original research.  A study article has specific components.  Authors do cite other work but make original contributions to their field.  For an example, check out this article.

Parts of a study/research/primary article:

1. Abstract

2. Introduction

3. Materials and Methods (of the study)

4. Results

5. Conclusion or Discussion

6. References