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Primary Sources Guide

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Primary Sources in the Sciences

Primary sources in the Sciences report original findings, ideas, and data. Types of publications that report the results of original scientific research include:

  • Research articles from scholarly journals
  • Conference papers and proceedings
  • Technical reports
  • Patents
  • Dissertations and theses
  • Laboratory notebooks and diaries
  • Letters
  • Field notes and plant specimens

The most common primary research source in the sciences is research articles from scholarly journals. It is important to note that not all articles written in peer reviewed scholarly journals are research articles. They also publish book review, news type articles and review articles.