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BSC 1010C (Matthews) Finding Scientific Articles: Articles

This guide will help students in Matthews' BSC 1010C class identify and find scientific articles in library databases.

Identifying Scientific Articles/ Studies

How can I tell if an article/study is scientific?

  • Check the sourceScientific articles are usually found in scholarly journals, not magazines or newspapers. Journals like Genetics and Animal Biology both publish studies that are empirical. 
  • Read the abstract (summary): If it mentions any study, questionnaires, participants, or measurements that the author conducted, it is scientific.
  • Format: Many scientific articles are broken down into sections, such as "Methodology", "Results", and "Conclusion". Finding these or similar headings in an article is a good indication that it involves a study or experiment.
  • Length: Empirical articles are usually very lengthy, at least 5 pages.
  • References: Does the article have references listed at the end? Scholarly researchers have to cite their sources, just like you!

Subject Guide

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Cathleen Bota
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