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Primary Sources in Biology

A primary source in Biology is a peer-reviewed journal article that directly reports the results of an experiment. It may contain a review of the relevant literature, but it will contain sections that report on the experiment conducted. Below are some questions to think through as you examine the two linked articles. Which one is the primary source?  How do you know?

1.  Who is the author of the article? What is his/her affiliation?

2. Where was the article published?  Can you tell?

3. Does the article contain primary source data?  How do you know?  Please point to specific sections of the article.

4. Who is the audience for this article? Point to specific parts of the article to support your answer.

5. Which article best represents the type of article you should you use for your assignment?

Finding primary sources in Biology


Anna Marie Johnson
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University of Louisville
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