BI 205 Finding Primary Sources

Librarian: Steve Burks - Make an appointment / Ext 2354 / Office Library 210


Finding Primary Sources

  • What is a primary source?  See Scholarly-Journals

  • Science Databases

    - Scopus

       - Citation Index /  Impact Factors  (The Impact Factor for a journal represents the citation rate over a given time period for an average article in a given journal.  A journals' impact factor is one of the measures used to measure journals' importance in its field)  See Scopus Journal Metrics
       - Not Full-text  - links out to full-text in library holdings
       - Also searches Medline & EmBase
       - The main competitor to Scopus is Web of Science

    Example search topic fertilizers and compounds that promote plant growth  //  (fertilizers  OR  compounds) AND "plant growth" 

    - MEDLINE / PubMed

       - Searches National College of Medicine journal content.  Both do similar things but PubMed will also search pre-prints/"ahead of prints" articles
       - Allows a search MESH terms - (Medical Subject Headings)
       - Not Full-text  - links out to full-text in library holdings
       - Interface allows limiters specific to medical research - eg. "double blind studies"

    Example use of MESH - chili peppers / pain

    --Science Direct

       - Full-text database
       - Elsevier publisher

  • Review articles - Review articles are not "primary" - but are an experts assessment of a research topic and will cite the most important primary research

  • Zotero is a popular citation manager.  It allows you to save research results from a plug-in to your browser.  You can create bibliographies and works cited lists in a variety of styles.  Zotero can also be downloaded to your Word program to allow seamless integration of citations into your papers.

    Go to to download and set up an account


Tip - When doing a search in the library Discovery Search - Unclick the Available in Library Collection box - You can get articles the library does not own through interlibrary loan




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