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BIO 5000: Bibliography and Research in Biology: Primary Sources

What is a Primary vs. Secondary Source

 In science, a primary source is usually the result of original research and *most* journal articles are therefore, primary. While not a comprehensive list, in Science, a possible Primary Resource might include:

  • Conference proceedings
  • Interviews
  • Journals
  • Lab notebooks
  • Patents
  • Preprints
  • Technical reports
  • Theses and dissertations


 A 'review' article is secondary.  Most monographs (textbooks, regular books, etc.) are secondary.  

**these examples found at VT Libraries Research Guide

Science Librarian

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Stephanie Bennett
University Libraries
Appalachian State University
218 College Street
Boone, NC 28608