Research Guide for

BIOL 1501 Principles of Biology 1 (Carlson)

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Academic Search Premier
Academic Search Premier is a multi-disciplinary database designed specifically for academic institutions. It includes articles from academic journals, popular magazines, and major newspapers.


ScienceDirect College Ed.: Health & Life Sciences Journal Collection
The Health & Life Sciences Journal Collection offers leading literature online in the health and life sciences, including health and nursing professions, biology, and environmental sciences.

Science E-book Collection (Gale)
This collection of reference e-books covers a broad range of science topics including biotechnology, chemistry, computer sciences, space sciences, and more.

Science Magazine
Online version of the journal Science published by the AAAS.


MEDLINE/PubMed
PubMed contains citations to articles in MEDLINE and other sources. Selected full text articles available. Click the Find Full Text button with the Normandale logo to see if the full text of the article is available in another database.
Types of Sources
Within the broad discourse of a field, there are many different kinds of sources. In academic writing, we usually divide sources into academic or scholarly sources, and popular sources. One central difference is that academic and scholarly sources go through a process called peer review, while popular sources do not.

What is the difference between scholarly sources and popular sources? The Georgetown University Library has a good comparison between the two here.

Popular Sources
  • Written by non-experts for a general audience
  • Published in popular magazines or newspapers (Time, Popular Mechanics, The New York Times)
  • Not edited or reviewed by experts before publication
  • Often contain no references
  • Often have advertising or look flashy and eye-catching
Scholarly Sources
  • Written by experts (usually professors) for an academic audience
  • Published in academic journals (The Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine, PMLA, The New England Journal of Medicine)
  • Edited and reviewed by other experts before publication
  • Contain references
  • Have minimal or no advertising; look very plain.

What is peer review? The publisher Elsevier has a good overview here. Peer review is the process by which an academic article is reviewed and edited before it is published in an academic journal. It is reviewed by other experts in the field. If it doesn't meet high academic standards or contains bad information, it is sent back to the author for revision, or outright rejected. This process ensures that only the best articles are published by academic journals.

Within scholarly sources, there is also the distinction between primary sources and secondary sources. Within the sciences, this is offen the difference between original research and reviews. The BMCC library has a good overview of the difference between primary and secondary sources here

Primary Research
  • Experiments, clinical trials, original research conducted by the authors.
  • Contains sections about methodology, materials, results, and discussion.

Reviews/Secondary Sources
  • Reviews and interprets someone else's original research.
  • Summarizes multiple different studies.
  • Does not contain methodology, results, or discussion sections.
Evaluate Source Credibility
Evaluate each source you use with CAPPS!
Consider the source's –
C = Currency
A = Author
P = Publication
P = Point of View
S = Sources

 
More info about CAPPS pdf
Learn About Scholarly Publishing
Peer Review video by North Carolina State University Library
Format of a Research Article video by University of Texas at San Antonio Library
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Cite Your Sources (SSF)
Scientific Style and Format (CSE Style)
The online version of the science writing and citation guide, published by the Council of Science Editors (CSE). See Part 4 Chapter 29 for information on how to cite your sources.