Biology Research: Introduction
Hello biology students!
I have put together this guide to help you find the resources you will need for your research. Explore the guide and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you need more help! My contact information is to the right side of the page.
If you need immediate help, you can use Live Chat. If I am not available right then there are 8 other reference librarians who can help you!
Also, you can schedule a research appointment. Research appointments are typically 30 or 60 minutes. Appointments can be individual or small groups.
I look forward to working with you this semester!
Click on Live Chat to ask a VSU Reference Librarian any questions about the library or your research.
Evaluating Research Articles
There are several factors to consider when evaluating resources.
Is the article peer reviewed or refereed?
For these assignments you will want to use peer-reviewed articles. Refereed articles are the same as peer reviewed. Most databases will let you limit the search results to peer-reviewed articles only. Visit the What is Peer Review tab to lean more..
Is the article primary or secondary?
There are many types of articles. Primary research articles report on original research. Secondary articles review, summarize, and discuss topics of interest. Literature reviews are secondary. Visit the Primary versus Secondary Resources tab to learn more.
Is the article timely?
In many databases you can limit the search to articles published within a specific timeframe.
Is the article relevant?
The articles you use should be relevant to you research topic and to each other. There are many ways to find relevant articles. One way to find relevant articles is to use search terms appropriate for your topic. Another important step is reading and critiquing the article. Once you have the read and critiqued the article you can decide if it is relevant, or not. Once you find a relevant article you can find similar articles by using keywords or subject headings from that article, looking at what articles it cited, and looking for articles that cite the article you have.
If you have any questions about evaluating an article, please do not hesitate to ask for help.