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BIOL 3004: Ichthyology (Welsh): Primary & Secondary Research articles

Identifying Primary Research Articles

Examples of Scientific Primary Research:

  • Article or conference proceeding reporting on a scientific study or experiment
  • Patent
  • Dissertations

A primary research article typically has the following format:

Titles indicate what the study is about, the author(s) & their credentials

Abstracts provide a brief summary of the article

Introduction/ Literature Reviews introduce the topic, reviews previously published research related to the topic, and states the hypothesis - a statement of what the researchers expect to find from their study.

Methods describe how the study was conducted which can include sample sizes, control variables, instruments and procedures used to collect data.

Results the findings of the study and whether the hypothesis were found to be true.

Discussions explains how results contribute to the existing body of scientific knowledge, lists limitations of the study and suggests areas for new research.

Conclusions recap the results and discussion section.  

References/Bibliography list the sources the authors consulted when writing the article. This section is very useful for finding additional articles related to your topic.

--Source:  Subramanyam, R. V. (2013). The art of reading a journal article: Methodically and effectively. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology. 17(1): 65-70. doi: 10.4103/0973-029X.110733

Primary vs. Secondary Scientific Literature