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Primary sources are ones written by the scientists who performed the experiments, during the time of the study - these articles include original research data.
Secondary sources are ones that summarize or compare lots of research in a particular area.
So how can you tell if a science article is a primary source? Primary research articles will include sections about:
- methodology - explaining how the experiment was conducted
- results - detailing what happened and providing raw data sets (often as tables or graphs)
- conclusions - connecting the results with theories and other research
- references - to previous research or theories that influenced the research
How do you know when you are done researching?
Are you seeing the same articles over and over?
This is the world's most comprehensive nursing & allied health research database, providing full text for more than 1,300 journals--with no embargo. It covers nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative/complementary medicine, consumer health and 17 allied health disciplines.
Start here when you need to find research in psychology. Which areas of psychology? Just about all of them. PsycINFO covers mental health, counseling, cognitive science, neuroscience, education, learning, family studies and language. Provides full-text access (back to the first issue) of the journals published by the American Psychological Association, as well as other association journals and many books and book chapters.
Indexes articles on all aspects of medicine, published all over the world. Use for human biology, anatomy, and physiology, psychiatry, pharmacology, and health care management, administration, and policy. The MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) search is extremely helpful in finding terms. After you find an especially appropriate article, click on Related Records to find other articles of interest.
ScienceDirect offers access to the publications of Elsevier Science and its subsidiaries - nearly 2,500 journals and 30,000 books. The collection contains selected full text of journal articles (since 1995) and book chapters. The collection focuses on science, technology and medicine, it also contains many journal titles from other social science disciplines.
Scopus calls itself the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: over 21,500 scientific journals, 130,000 books and conference proceedings, covering all fields of academic study: science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Scopus also includes 8 different citation metrics, analyzing impact at the author, article, journal, and institution levels.
Other Relevant Databases
BioOne provides full-text access to both current and archival "bioscience research journals, featuring timely content on a wide-array of today’s most pressing topics, including global warming, stem cell research, ecological and biodiversity conservation."
Education Full Text
Education Full Text indexes over 770 education journals, as well as some monographs and yearbooks. Over 400 of the journals are peer-reviewed and almost half are available in full text. It also includes several peer-reviewed open access journals. The indexing starts in 1983, and the full text starts in 1996. Approximately 75-100 of the titles are not indexed in ERIC and it is a complementary resource to use with ERIC.
JSTOR provides access to ebooks and scholarly journals in the arts, humanities, sciences and the social sciences. Works best in Chrome (Firefox creates problems with pop-up blockers).
SocINDEX with Full Text
SocINDEX with Full Text identifies resources in the field of sociology and related subject areas. It indexes over 3000 journals and provides full text for 890 journals, several dating back to 1908. It also includes full text for over 850 books and monographs, as well as over 16,800 conference reports. It also includes a thesaurus of sociological terms.