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BIO 222: Genetics

Class resource guide for the Spring 2023 BIO 222: Genetics



Welcome to the class research guide for BIO 222: Genetics with Dr. Andrew. This guide will provide relevant definitions and recommended library databases for your research paper.

You can find information on creating citations with Scientific Style and Format (CSE) style at Snowden's Online Citation Station or at the in-person station on the first floor of the library. Librarians are also happy to help you with citing!

A Few Definitions

The following definitions are important concepts to understand as you locate sources and work on your research paper: 

  • Scholarly Journal Articles: these sources are written by experts in their field to communicate research and findings with other scholars and students studying that subject. Scholarly journal articles often use more technical and/or subject specific language, so it is good practice to first build an understanding of your topic through reference resources and books before reading. 
  • Peer-Review: also known as refereed, this is the process of submitting an article for publication through an external review of other subject experts that evaluates the quality of scholarship and validity of the methodology and procedures. 
  • Medical Subject Headings: commonly referred to as MeSH terms, this is a controlled vocabulary system that helps researchers, authors, and readers talk about a topic or term using the same language. You will find MeSH terms in the MEDLINE and PubMed databases, and they are a great place to locate additional keywords when building a search. 

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary Sources: also known as empirical research, primary sources are based on observation or experimentation. This means that data and/or knowledge are derived from experience rather than theory or belief. Look for language in the article that indicates the authors are the ones that conducted the original research. You can also check for:

  • The research question(s) or hypotheses to be tested
  • Description of the group or phenomena being studied
  • A statement about the methodology; how was the experiment or observation conducted?

Secondary Sources: these are sources that analyze, interpret, or evaluate a phenomenon using previously published primary sources. In the sciences, one common example of a secondary source is a review article. This is a publication where the author(s) survey many empirical research articles to reach a consensus or recommendation. Examples of secondary review articles include:

  • Literature Reviews
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Meta-Analyses

Locating Scholarly Journal Articles