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Honors Resources

A guide to help Honors students with research from the first year through the Honors project.

Primary/Secondary Articles

Characteristics of a Primary Article

  • Presents original data and ideas from a scientific investigation reported by scientist and written for others in the field.
  • Reports the results of experiments, observations, and other scientific investigation.
  • The body of the article usually contains the following sections:
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Methods (or Materials and Methods)
    • Results
    • Discussion
    • Acknowledgements, and  Literature Cited (or References)

Examples of Journals: Science, Nature, Ecology (although they may have some secondary articles such as reviews or brief news items). Most of the journals from the American Society for Microbiology will include primary articles. 

Example of an article recommended by your professor: "Glutamine cannot support recombinant CHO cell growth and maintenance in the absence of glucose" in Process Biochemistry doi:10.1016/S0032-9592(03)00182-1 .

Characteristics of a Secondary Article

  • Synthesizes and summarizes results of original research.
  • Describes, interprets, analyzes and evaluates the original research.
  • Comments on and discusses the evidence provided by primary sources.
  • Written for a scientific audience or for a non-scientific audience.
  • Written by experts (scientists) or general writers.
  • Published in science magazines and may be published in some science journals.

Examples of Journals:  Scientific American, Science News, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics.

Last Updated: May 2, 2023 1:39 PM