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BIO 309: Marine & Freshwater Invertebrates

Marine and Freshwater Invertebrates

What kind of article am I looking at?

At times, you might be asked by your instructor to find and use specific kinds of articles. Use this page to learn about different sources to help you decide when you should be using different types of sources in your research.

Types of Sources




Audience General Public
Author Written by journalists with no subject expertise
Citations Very few or none
Content Current events, general interest articles
Purpose To inform, entertain
Review Process Editorial staff, usually with no background in the field




Audience Professionals in a specific field
Author Usually expert in a field, journalist with subject expertise
Citations Some articles will have citations, but they are not required
Content Articles about a certain industry
Purpose To inform about current news, trends, and tools in an industry
Review Process Editor who is usually an expert in the field




Audience Academics, researchers
Author Academics and researchers experts in their field
Citations References required
Content Research results/reports, reviews of research, book reviews 
Purpose To share with academic community
Review Process Editorial board made up of other experts, many articles are peer-reviewed

Primary Sources VS. Secondary Sources

Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Direct observation Reviews or remarks
Author is who conducted the research Author did not conduct the research
Usually a research paper, a lab notebook, research data, technical reports, or a conference presentation Includes review article, book, and brief or popular science report about the topic