Centers for Disease Control
Healthfinder (from USDHHS)
History of Science Sourcebook
Medline Plus (from NLM/NIH)
MW Library Catalog – reference
Opposing Viewpoints (Gale) – database focused on contrasting policy perspectives
PhET – interactive simulations in chemistry, math, and physics
Salem Press (incl. Psychology)
Teens Health (from Nemours)
Virtual Reference Library (Gale) – digital reference books on a variety of topics
JSTOR – archive of scholarly articles (does not include most recent 5 years)
PLoS ONE – scholarly articles
Zenodo – grey lit database
Biology, Health, and Environment
What are primary sources in science?
MLWGS science teachers sometimes require students to consult scholarly, primary research about a topic in order to develop a hypothesis, design an experiment, or write a persuasive paper. To be considered a primary source in the sciences, an article must convey original research findings made by the scientists who wrote the article.
What is Original (Primary) Research? (concise answer and glossary from UNF Libraries)
Some common traits (not all of which are mentioned in the video) include the following:
- Discusses experiments or modeling the researchers conducted themselves
- Has sections like materials, methods, results, and conclusion/discussion/analysis
- Includes charts, diagrams, tables, and data sets of original data
- Has a lengthy reference list
- Uses a formal, technical writing style
- Has a title that describes experiment/findings (versus one that sounds like a catchy headline)
- Authored by a team of scientists with expert credentials
Examples of primary and secondary sources
- Primary source (open web) – research study – UC Irvine
- Primary source (Gale) – research report – Coastal Education and Research Foundation
- Secondary source (JSTOR) – news article found in scholarly database
- Secondary source (found with Highwire) – review article
Finding Primary Research Articles
Many sources in the Delving Deeper list below may contain primary research about your topic. As you budget your time, remember that you can only access full-text articles in Science Direct while on campus. When you search Science Direct, use the Journal Search (click Search on the top toolbar, then click the Journal tab of the search box) and limit your search to the last five years. For the most features, view the HTML version of the article (by clicking on the article title in your search results list rather than the PDF icon). Features available in the HTML version include related articles, related terms, hyperlinked reference lists, quick access to figures and tables, and more.
See the section below that reviews important search limiters in Science Direct.
Reading Research Articles
Setting Limiters in Science Direct
Our subscription includes only the most recent 5 years, so to avoid muddling results with articles you won’t be able to read, set your date limit to articles published in 2018 through the present. Depending on your assignment, you may also wish to limit your results to original research articles or literature reviews.