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BIOL 4539/5539: Comparative Physiology (Genz)

Resources for Dr. Genz's Comparative Physiology class.

The Searching Process

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to search for multiple articles in a database. I've heard students ask, "How am I going to find all these articles?"

I encourage you to think of this in a different way. Even though Dr. Genz is requiring a minimum of five articles for your term paper (the original article used for the draft, plus four additional articles), you don't need to search for five articles. You need to find one good article. Once you have a appropriate article for your topic, you can use the References in that article, as well as the "related article" functionality in the database, to find related articles.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary sources are original documents containing original information about the subject being studied. In the natural sciences, primary sources include scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles and papers presented at conferences.

Secondary sources are commentaries, analyses, or interpretations of primary sources. An example of a secondary source is a review article, which summarizes current research on a topic and analyzes previously published work. For this reason review articles are a good place to get ideas about a topic.

Primary and secondary sources can change depending on the discipline. A scholarly article is a primary source in biology, but it could be a secondary source in history or art. An article analyzing Ann Frank's diary or Van Gogh's Starry Night would be a secondary source, as the diary and the painting are primary sources.