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Health Sciences Advanced Search

This guide is designed from postgraduate level students working on primary research projects or dissertations.

Types of Literature

As you know, literature can be organized in any number of ways:

  • by publication date (history books)
  • by geography (US, Europe, Asia)
  • by topic (encyclopedias)
  • by language (English, Spanish, Chinese)
  • by age (children, young adult, adult)
  • by genre (mystery, thriller, horror, romance, westerns)
  • by academic discipline (architecture, engineering, fine art, math)
  • by as primary, secondary, or tertiary
  • as peer-reviewed or non-peer-reviewed
  • as commercial or gray 
  • and many other categories as the need arises

In academia and professional work, you may or may not be aware that literature can be categorized into two distinct groups:

  1. Information
  2. Research

I have created a handout that specifically addresses these two distinct types of literature. When performing a search at the Advanced level, you MUST understand the differences.

Article Types handout

Do NOT progress any farther in this guide until you have reviewed this handout. It is critical.

In some cases, you will look for Information article; in other cases, Research articles will be the only type of literature that will suffice. If you don't know the differences, you are sure to stumble.