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Locating Scientific Literature

In this guide, we'll learn to locate primary source research studies using newspaper articles, press releases, and other popular secondary sources.

Starting with a Popular Source

Why start with a secondary (or popular) source?

Some popular sources can help immensely with understanding scientific literature. Popular sources are written with a general audience in mind, and are intended to be understood by someone who has little or no scientific background. Since scholarly articles are often very research heavy with lots of scientific jargon you may not be familiar with, reading the popular source discussing the study first can help you understand it better.

This research guide is designed to help you identify and locate the scholarly research that is reported on or discussed in secondary sources, such as newspaper articles, magazines, or media press releases.

So can I use these popular sources in my research paper/lab report/documented essay?

Probably not. Your professor will want you to use peer-reviewed, scholarly articles in your research. Articles from popular sources are almost never peer reviewed, and would not be suitable. We're going to find articles that you can use in your research paper in the next step.

Places to find popular sources in Science

Press Releases

Magazines

Newspapers & Media

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