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BIOL 1260 Research Workshop: Popular Sources

What Is a Popular Source?

Imagine the types of magazines and newspapers that you would find at a bookstore or in the grocery store.We refer to these types of periodicals as "popular sources;" they are geared to reach a more general audience and written in non-technical language.



In contrast, peer-reviewed journals are written primarily by scientists, for scientists. The goal of a peer-reviewed article is to communicate new scientific research in the context of past research.



Popular Sources to Use

Search and browse the following popular science resources to locate an article.

Possible Popular Sources

Browsing vs. Searching

You can either browse by topic or search by keyword on each of the above sites. You may find it helpful to browse within a specific area (i.e. health or medicine) if you don't already have an idea of a possible topic. If you have a general idea for a topic, you can perform a site search using the embedded search box on the websites themselves.

Alternatively, you can use Google to search within a particular site by using the "site limiter" function. For example, if I wanted to search for articles on endocrine disruptors in Discover magazine, I could type the following into Google:

"endocrine disruptor"

Remember that you can use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase.

Possible Keywords to Search

Looking for some keywords to use in your search? Think about topics that you have discussed in class. For example, if you have been discussing infectious diseases, try to think about different aspects of this topic. Have you discussed a particular disease? A particular problem, such as antibiotic resistance or vaccination? Use what you are learning in class as a guide for coming up with keywords and topics to use in your search.

Need help? Contact the Science & Engineering Librarian

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Meg Eastwood
Anderson Academic Commons, Office 250D
(303) 871-4499