Differentiating between original research articles and review articles can be a bit tricky. Both types of articles are considered "scholarly" and appear in peer reviewed journals. However, it is an essential skill in the sciences to be able to differentiate between the two types of articles. Below is information to assist you in determining what type of resource you are viewing.
Author(s) present new set of findings from original research after conducting an original experiment.
Typically contains the following distinct sections:
Yoo S, Nair S, Kim H, Kim Y, Lee C, Lee G, Park J. 2020. Knock-in mutations of scarecrow, a Drosophila homolog of mammalian Nkx2.1, reveal a novel function required for development of the optic lobe in Drosophila melanogaster. Dev Biol. [accessed 2020 August 17]; 461(2): 145-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.02.008
Author(s) analyze and summarize existing research.
Often focus on a general topic and bring together all relevant, useful articles on that topic in one article.
Do not contain sections such as Methods or Results because they did not conduct original research.
References within a review article can help you locate primary research articles on a topic!
Primary scientific articles can be difficult to read and understand. As burgeoning scholars it is vital that you develop reading strategies early on to help you use scientific literature. Click on the links below to learn the common structure of scientific articles and how to navigate them for efficiency and comprehension.
When you are just getting started in a discipline, one of the most difficult things about reading the literature is understanding the language. Using scientific dictionaries and encyclopedias to look up unfamiliar terms can be hugely helpful.
Use the resources below to assist you as you read:
Remember that reading scientific literature is not easy, even for experts. Having a strategy, along with making sure to look up concepts and terms you don't understand, can be hugely helpful. The above strategy is recommended but developing your own based on your knowledge about what each section contains and what you need to know is key!