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BIOL 318 - Plants and Society (Simokat)

This guide will help you conduct the library research you need to do in order to complete your literature review.

Primary Research vs. Review Articles

Peer-Reviewed Articles: Primary or Review?

For your assignment, you are required to find and use a minimum of five (5) peer-reviewed, primary literature articles that discuss the ecosystem, what is being studied about it, and what the implications of those studies are. 

So, what is the difference between primary and review articles? The main difference is the degree of separation the authors have from an actual experiment and/or study taking place. In a primary article, the authors are the same people who conducted the research and are writing about what they learned firsthand. In a review article, the authors are asking a question and answering it by reading primary articles written on this topic - they report on the results of experiments/studies secondhand, which is why review articles are sometimes called secondary sources

  Primary (sometimes also called "Empirical") Review (sometimes also called "Secondary")
Audience other scholars/researchers other scholars/researchers
Purpose the authors are reporting on an experiment/study that they themselves have conducted the authors are asking a question and answering it by consulting other published research on the topic
Structure very structured, typically with an IMRAD format (introduction, methods, results, analysis & discussion) very structured, but sections may be labeled by theme and not necessarily with a methods/results/discussion section
Methods the methods section will describe how the experiment was conducted the methods section will describe the types of articles the authors consulted and where they found these articles
Review blind reviewed by other scholars  blind reviewed by other scholars
Examples Romañach, S. S., D'Acunto, L. E., Chapman, J. P., & Hanson, M. R. 2021. Small mammal responses to wetland restoration in the Greater Everglades ecosystem. Restoration Ecology, 29(3), e13332. doi:10.1111/rec.13332 Sklar, F. H., et al. 2005. The ecological-societal underpinnings of Everglades restoration. Frontiers in ecology and the environment, 3(3), 161-169. doi:10.2307/3868544