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Biological Sciences (biology, bioengineering, botany): Welcome

A few resources to help you understand the writing process when developing a research experiment.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Pearson Library's Biological Sciences Resources Guide!

This resource page will help you discover all that the Pearson Library has to offer in the subjects of biology, bioengineering, and botany -- from finding books to finding articles, as well as our other services to help you find what you need.  Ask us if you need any help!

Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Resources

Scientific and technical literature is often categorized into three different groups: primary, secondary, and tertiary.

  • Primary Literature:
    Primary literature contains the earliest communication of the results of an experiment or of a theoretical development. The types of communication can take many different forms including peer-reviewed journals, master theses, doctoral dissertations, and patents.  
  • Secondary Literature:
    Secondary literature refines or summarizes the primary research. This type of literature includes review articles, books, edited volumes, plus trade and popular magazine articles.  
  • Tertiary Literature:
    Tertiary literature is what we typically have in the reference collections. This literature would include dictionaries, encyclopedias, and directories.

Research Steps

5 steps to successful research

  1. Develop a good research question. Look at areas where other researchers have had some interesting results, but have not been fully explored.
     
  2. Think about the big picture.  Ask yourself, "Why is this worth investigating?"
     
  3. Search in scientific journals to collect previous research and develop your conceptual framework. Develop a literature review describing the importance of each article in 1-3 sentences.
     
  4. Develop a research hypothesis for your study based upon what you learned.
     
  5. Determine what sort of experiments you will need to conduct to test your hypothesis.

Your Librarian

Yvonne Wilber
Contact:
(805) 493-3092