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BIO M02A HONORS Dr. Hernandez: Class project


Scientific Literature Project


  1. Learn more about a topic in Biology that you are interested in.
  2. Learn the components of a journal article, and understand the differences between popular press articles and journal articles.
  3. Read a ScienceNews article about a topic that interests you, and then read a primary source article from which the article is based.  Summarize the purpose (hypotheses tested), methods, results, and implications of the article. 
  4. Present your information in class


Part I:  Understanding the components of a scientific journal article. 

This information will help you understand the components of your chosen article.  This information will be included on Lecture Exam 3 and on the Final Exam.

Read the following paper online and answer the questions below:

  1. What is primary literature?
  2. What is secondary literature?
  3. What is peer review, and what is the purpose of peer review?
  4. What are examples of the broadest, most competitive journals in biology?   What is an example of a top-tier journal specialized in biology?  What are examples of highly specialized articles in biology?
  5. Does the title of a manuscript summarize the paper or merely describe the topic?
  6. How many authors can there be in a scientific article, and what is the significance of being first author?
  7. What is the abstract, and what are the purposes of the abstract?
  8. What is presented in Materials and Methods?  How much detail is required?
  9. What type(s) of information are presented in the Results section?
  10. What is contained in the Discussions and Conclusions section?
  11.   How do the authors cite earlier literature upon which their paper is built?
  12.   What might be included in Supporting Materials?