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CHEM 3713: Environmental Chemistry I

Article Types

Peer Reviewed Articles

To improve the quality of published research, many journals require articles go through a peer review process before publication. In short, all articles submitted to the journal are sent to at least two peer reviewers, who are other researchers in that subject area. Those experts review the article to ensure its methods and findings are sound.

Primary and Secondary Articles

Peer reviewed articles can be either primary (original) or secondary (review).

A primary (original) article describes the outcome and findings of an experiment or study and is written by the person who people who did the research.

A secondary (review) article compiles and summarizes all of the research on a specific topic. The author of a review article did not do an original study or experiment.

Primary Sources Secondary Sources
Also Known As Original research articles Review articles (e.g. systematic review or metanalysis)
Purpose To share the findings of an experiment or study. To summarize or analyze the findings of original sources.
Author(s) Performed the experiment/study themselves. No original experiment. Writing about the findings of other researchers.
Methods section? Required. Describes how experiment was performed. Not required, but may list databases and search words used to research.
References list? Yes Yes

Ultimately, the #1 way to tell if an article is primary or secondary is to look at the Methods section. For more explanation and some examples of primary and secondary sources, visit the following link: