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PY 215: Research Literacy in Psychology: Identify Sources (Scientific Literature)

Understanding the Literature Cycle

It is important to understand where in the cycle you are getting the information and the characteristics of each type of resource.

Primary sources present original research such as a study by those who carried it out.  Examples include research articles in scholarly journals.  (example)

Secondary sources summarize, reinterpret, reanalyze, or discuss information from primary sources.  Examples include review articles in scholarly journals, magazine articles, news articles, and books.  (example)

Tertiary sources digest and condense information from primary and secondary sources.  Examples include encyclopedias, textbooks, and web pages.  (example)

Understanding the News Cycle

Findings reported in the media can often be traced back to a scientific paper.

Scientific Literature Cycle

Source:  Kipnis, D. (2021, August 5). Where the news comes from: Cycle of scientific literature. Rowan
University Campbell Library.

Science News Cycle

Source: Cham, J. (2021, August 6). Science news cycle. ComSciCon.

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