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Ecology, Evolution, & Conservation Biology: More Research Help

Citing Sources

Creating Citations:

Bucknell Citation Guides

Williams College Citation Guides

Zotero citation generator and manager tool

Primary Research in the Sciences

Primary Research continued

Primary sources in the Sciences are not exactly like primary sources in history or literature. 

Primary sources are most often found as journal articles, and:

  • Report original research, ideas, or scientific discoveries for the first time
  • Report results/findings/data from experiments or research studies
  • May also be referred to as primary research, primary articles, or research studies
  • Should explain the research methodology used (randomized controlled trial, etc)
  • Almost always include separate parts of the article called "methods," "results," and discussion or conclusion.

Examples of primary sources include:

  • Research studies or scientific experiments
  • Papers and proceedings from scientific conferences or meetings
  • Dissertations and Theses
  • Technical Reports
  • lab notebooks published online
  • Patents

Secondary sources  may also be useful, but you should be able to distinguish them from primary sources.  These typically involve reviews of the primary literature or editorial writing.

Examples of these secondary sources are:

  • Publications about the significance of research or experiments
  • Reviews of the results of several experiments or trials

Subject Librarian

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Ally Wood
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Bertrand Library
Research Help Area RM 113
Phone: (570) 577-3235
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