Biology 360L: General Botany

Information formats for your course project

Different research projects will require the use of different types of resource formats or materials. Resource formats you are likely to encounter in your research are described below:

  • Original or Primary Research Articles type of journal article with standard sections—Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Discussion—that documents an original experiment conducted by the author(s). These articles are likely to be the most substantive in their descriptions of the full research process, plus outcomes. Original research articles are peer reviewed and an example of primary literature. Example
  • Review articles type of journal article that reviews and critically evaluates existing published work by many scientists. They are great guides to original research that has been published on a topic. Review articles are peer reviewed secondary literature. Example
  • Books & Book Chapters may be a good source of information, but be sure to check out the author’s credentials and check that the publisher of the book is reputable (ex: look for university presses or big publishers like Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley). Edited, but typically not peer reviewed. Example
  • Editorials, Opinion, Commentaries, and Reports published in journals but are less substantive. Original research is not present, or it is discussed in brief. These types of articles are usually not peer reviewed. Example
  • Conference abstracts or papers often cutting edge research presented at conferences/symposia, but often not peer-reviewed. They are also harder to find and are less likely to be owned by the UNM Libraries. Conference papers should not be your first choice for this paper. Example
  • Textbooks and Encyclopedias (even Wikipedia) can be great sources of background information, but are not appropriate for incorporation into your reference list for this paper. Not peer reviewed. Example

The tools you use to find these items will vary by type and topic. For our work, we will concentrate on searching for peer-reviewed primary research articles using library databases.