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What's on this guide?

Introduction- Quick reference to different resources, including primary and secondary sources

Finding Information: News & Articles- Your best friend for finding scholarly articles and news. Not sure if you are looking at credible news stories? Check out the fake news drop-down option.

Other Information Sources: Provides suggestions on where to get credible information from academic websites and government agencies

Evaluating Sources: A combination of video tutorials and thoughts to consider when evaluating scholarly material and material from the web (e.x. news stories.)  Learn the difference between primary and secondary sources here!

Citations: Resources for citing in APA format and Refworks (citation management software!)

After Graduation: Because everyone wants a job!  Check out opportunities for Earth & Environmental Science related fields. 


Types of Resources

Understanding Resources for GEO/EES Research

Scholarly Articles

  • What: An article written by experts in an academic field that is intended to share knowledge.  Info is trustworthy!


  • Characteristics:
  • Written by professors/PhDs
    -Writing is complicated
    -Contains sections such as abstract, methods, discussion, conclusion
    -Contains list of reference
  • Best way to find them: Use the scholarly journal filter on library databases! (OneSearch, Environmental Science Collection, Web of Science)


Popular Articles

  • What: Articles meant to share timely information with a general audience
  • Characteristics:
  • Simple writing
    -Often contains info on current events, but can contain factual errors
    -Usually written by journalists (but can be written by professors)
    -Often don’t cite sources
  • Examples: Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Times, Forbes, magazines, newspapers, blogs
  • Not sure if it’s scholarly? Ask a librarian!

#buzzfeedquiz #whichharrypottercharacterareyou

Can I use it? Why? Why not?


  • STOP! Never, never, never! cite Wikipedia in your papers.
  • Why? Anyone can edit Wikipedia, which means anyone can change any of the information. You can’t be sure that you are getting correct information!
  • When can I use it? If you don’t understand a topic, you can read a brief overview of it.  You can also look and see if the page you’re looking at has scholarly articles in the references


#WillSmithisDead #FalseWikipediaEdit


Why can’t I just Google it?


  • Pros/Cons of Google:
    -Pros: You get a lot of results and you can type in questions
    -Cons: Sometimes you can’t tell where you’re information is coming from, so it might not be credible. Google will also mainly show you free articles, but most articles cost lots of money $$
  • Why use the library?
    -You know exactly where you’re information is coming from (trustworthy!)
    -You get more thorough content because we’ve paid for all the information for you!

Big takeaway: Library resources are your best bet for doing research!
Need help? Hillary Fox   474-2358

Primary & Secondary Sources in the Sciences

  • Primary sources report original research or ideas for the first time. The report will include data and findings from the experiment and will explain the methodology used during the experiment. They will often include a methods, results, and discussion section. Other names for primary source include primary research, research studies, or research articles.
    • Examples: Research studies, conference proceedings, dissertations & thesis, technical or government reports, patents
  • Secondary sources are interpretations of primary sources (they interpret original research). These include publications such as systematic reviews, meta-analysis, and letters to the editor. News stories that are reporting about a scientific event are usually secondary.