The Publication process: primary, secondary, and tertiary sources
Primary sources are original works by an author. Examples in biology include firsthand reports of research such as lab reports as well as many journal articles. Most new research in biology is published in the form of journal articles.
Secondary sources can be used to find references to primary sources. Books that are not the original work of the researcher are considered secondary sources.
Tertiary sources include guides to the literature and textbooks.
For academic research, it is often important to use peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals rather than popular magazines. Peer-review is the process by which a journal article is evaluated by experts in the field. An example of a peer-reviewed journal is Journal of Applied Ecology. An example of a popular magazine is Time.
Milne Library Research Guides
Where to Find Articles
The databases below are located on the Milne Library home page under the Databases tab.