Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Research for Introduction to Cell Biology (Formerly Biology 3)

Guide to help students in Introduction to Cell Biology "Walking through the Literature Project"

Understanding the Cycle of Scientific Literature

It's important to understand where science research comes from and to see where in the cycle you got the information.  Most of the public gets their information from Tertiary Sources like the news or reference sources.  From this cycle you can see how it got there and what steps researchers took to get the information to the general public.

Primary Sources are peer-reviewed journal articles that contain research.  The scientists/researchers will often first present their findings are conferences of their peers before publishing the information in a journal.

Secondary Sources review primary research and give summaries of current science research.

Cycle of Scientific Literature

Lifecycle of scientific literature includes topic selection, research, informal communication, conference presentations, primary, secondary and tertiary sources.