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Library Research for Exercise Science: Secondary Literature

Secondary Literature

Characteristics of Secondary Articles

Secondary articles:

  • Appear in peer-reviewed journals
  • Can also be referred to as "literature reviews" because they review literature on a particular topic
  • Summarize science research and identify possible areas of research
  • Are a good sources for citations of primary articles 

Secondary Articles will summarize research on a particular topic.  They are often known as Literature Reviews because they will look at many primary articles and give an overview of the primary literature on a topic.  They do NOT contain an experiment, study, or research.*  If you are unsure, read the abstract (summary) of the article.  Often the abstract will contain the word review or summary as a clue.


*Please remember, some secondary articles are setup like primary articles and may contain introduction, materials & methods, results, and discussion sections, but there will not be any original research, an experiment, or study done.  Always read the abstract to make sure an article is just reviewing others' research.

© Samantha D. Kennedy, Rowan University, 


Databases for Secondary Articles

This list of journals is a good source for secondary articles.