Salisbury University Libraries


Holloway Hall

Research Articles

Research Article = Primary Source

A research article, also frequently known as a primary source, can be distinguished from its journalistic cousins by a few distinct features.  Before you decide on a source for your presentation, make sure that it fits both of the two main criteria below:

  • the abstract is full of active verbs - like: we measured; we analyzed; we sampled; we studied; we collected; we surveyed; we dissected - all verbs that make it clear that the authors of the paper actually *did* something, and didn't just read about what other people did. 
  • the paper should be written in clear research article style - and therefore should have an abstract and introduction, as well as a materials & methods, results, analysis, and conclusion sections. 

Click on the below links - in  order - to complete your library tutorial on searching for Primary/Research sources within an academic setting.

The History of Scientific Journals

Biological Databases HERE at Blackwell Library

Research Tips


Searching Science Direct vs. Searching BioOne
(opens via Prezi - click the 'Play' arrow to get it started,
and continue clicking the same arrow to advance
though each step of the online presentation...)


Generating Keywords (a PDF) worksheet for you to fill in!