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Biology Seminar for Majors | Spring 2021

Types of Information Sources

Source type: Popular press article

  • Where it's published: Newspaper; magazine; media website
  • Where to look for it: Library database; Google
  • Who creates it: Journalist or writer
  • Who reads it: General public
  • Purpose: General interest/enlightenment
  • Characteristics to look for: Plain language; Usually no citations/references
  • Example: Lumpkin, Laura. (July 25, 2020). Study says virus made college students’ stress, anxiety, depression worse. Washington Post.

Source type: Primary source

Source type: Secondary source

  • Where it's published: Scholarly journal
  • Where to look for it: Library database; Google Scholar
  • Who creates it: Scholars, researchers (institutional affiliations and credentials listed)
  • Who reads it: Other researchers, scholars, experts
  • Purpose: Build upon previous work and findings: analyze, synthesize, criticize, draw conclusions
  • Words to look for: Review, Analysis
  • Characteristics to look for: Citations to many different sources integrated and distributed throughout article
  • Example: Singh, S., Roy, D., Sinha, K., Parveen, S., Sharma, G., & Joshi, G. (2020). Impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on mental health of children and adolescents: A narrative review with recommendations. Psychiatry Research, 293, 113429.