Scholarship is an extended conversation between researchers, and the scholarly literature in each discipline tells the story of of the inquiry that fuels the conversation.
Primary sources in the sciences, usually peer-reviewed journal articles, are the main mechanism researchers use to communicate original data and new ideas. Journal articles differ from popular sources in many ways. Take a look at this visual anatomy of a research paper created by the librarians at the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Library to find out what is essential in a primary research paper.
Before publication, research articles usually go through the peer review process. Peer review starts the coversation of scholarship going! To find out how, watch this video from the NCSU Library:
While you research, you will find more than scholarly peer-reviewed journal articles. This chart will help you determine whether the source is primary or not:
The scholarly communication life cycle is just that: a process. Examine the cycle below and visit the Scholarly Communications guide prepared by UofT librarians.
When you are researching and writing for your psychology courses, you are practicing how to participate in the conversation of scholarship.
The main rule of conversation is showing where facts and ideas you did not originate actually came from. This is called citing. Watch the video below to review the concepts of paraphrasing, quoting and citing:
Reviewing the literature for your assignment is the first step in participating in the conversation of scholarship. This video from the NCSU Libraries tells you how you add to the story by carrying out a thoughtful review of the literature:
I would like to acknowledge the following resources I consulted or directly linked to while preparing this page:
Gibson, C., and Jacobson, T. (2014). Framework for information literacy for higher education (Draft). ACRL.
NCSU Libraries. (2009). Anatomy of a scholarly article.
NCSU Libraries. (2014). Citation: A very (brief) overview.
NCSU Libraries. (2014). Literature reviews: An overview for graduate students.
NCSU Libraries. (2014). Peer review in 3 minutes.