Skip to main content

CHEM 1465: Types of Articles

Chemistry for Engineers AURAS ESP Section

Brainstorming Keywords

The following web sites and library database may help you to identify terms and phrases related to your topic.

Selected Journals

  • New Scientist
  • Scientific American
  • Science News
  • Popular Science
  • National Geographic
  • Chemical & Engineering News
  • Basic Science
  • Economist
  • Newsweek
  • Time

Characteristics of Primary Scientific Articles

·         Primary scientific articles written by the scientists/researchers who actually conducted the research and typically follow a format that outlines how the authors' research was done and findings of the study

·         Peer-reviewed: Scientists in the field have reviewed the article for validity

·          Format often includes sections with heading such as Abstract, Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusions and References

·         Language is usually complex and intended for other scientists/researchers in the same field

·          Tables and graphs which reflect the data or statistics collected during research. Images or photographs depict information results from the research conducted

·         Acknowledgment given to funding source for research

·         References in footnotes or bibliography/citation listing and tend to be quite lengthy

·         Author’s affiliation or credentials may be included

·         Often published by professional organizations or associations

·         Masters Theses and Doctoral Dissertations

·         Examples: 

o   Journal of Organic Chemistry

o    Organometallics

o    Journal of Biological Chemistry

o    Current Microbiology


Characteristics of Secondary Scientific Articles

·         Secondary scientific articles most often are not written by the scientists/researchers that conducted the original research or work

·         Not peer-reviewed

·         Often these articles summarize a study or experiment that has been done, or review the history of research done about a particular topic over a period of time

·         The format of secondary scientific articles varies. They may contain an Abstract and Introduction. Section headings throughout the article usually present the topic which will be discussed in that particular section

·         Can look a lot like primary articles but the “content” is reviewing a study or research done by others

·         Typically the language is complex and intended for other scientists/researchers in the same field

·         Tables, graphs and images may be included in the body of the article

·         Reference lists will be included and will tend to be long

·         Examples:

o   Coordination Chemistry Reviews

o   Fungal Biology Reviews

o   Scientific American

Characteristics of Popular/Non-Scholarly Articles

  • Popular articles about science are not peer reviewed
  • Often these articles summarize a new scientific finding, study or experiment
  • Popular articles about science have no distinct format, intended to educate or entertain the reader
  • Typically the language is simple and intended for the general public
  • Often times the articles include colorful photographs and advertisements that may or may not add to the depth of the articles content
  • References will rarely be included



Antoinette Nelson's picture
Antoinette Nelson
Central Library
Office: 313