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UGS 302: Fashion, Beauty & Culture / Reed


How research is communicated in the sciences...

Primary resources: Peer-reviewed articles written by authors (scientists or researchers) who actually performed an original experiment or are reporting their field observations, i.e., of organisms or medical patients. 

Secondary resources: Peer-reviewed articles written by authors (also scientists and researchers) who summarize or discuss trends in the primary literature. In the sciences, these are called "review" articles.
Tertiary resources: Non­‐peer-reviewed overviews, encyclopedia entries, bibliographies, etc. These are often written by writers who summarize the highly technical scientific literature for a general audience. They will reference or link to the primary research. 

drawing by Elise Nacca, 2016

What does it mean when someone calls an article scholarly, academic, or peer reviewed?

Who writes these articles?

Experts in their fields. Depending on the discipline, that may mean researchers who work in industry as well as those who teach and research in academia.

Why do they write in these journals and not in magazines or newspapers or in books?

The most rigorous research happens in these journals. Publishing in these journals assures that your research will be read and cited by experts within your field of study. This research is the most up to date - once research is published here, it can be referenced for a general audience in newspapers or magazines, or it may be referenced in a more comprehensive work, such as a book. Having an article published in a journal is prestigious and may be a factor in getting and keeping one's job at a university. No, authors do not get paid by these publications. 

How do I access these journals?

These journals are very expensive to subscribe to. This university provides access to many, and will borrow from other libraries on your behalf so you have virtually complete access to scholarship. You can search within the databases I recommend.

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