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BIO 102 Labs (AL): Types of Scientific Articles

2 Main Types of Science Articles

There are many types of articles found in scientific literature, however here are two major article types:

Icon for original research article

Original Research Articles

  • Published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Report findings of scientists' experiments or studies
  • Analyze results and may cite related research
  • Look for terms like "Methods" and "Results"

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Review Articles

  • Published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Summarize and synthesize current state of research in a given field
  • Often lack sections titled "Methods" and "Materials"

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Other Types of Science Publications

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Opinions and Editorials

  • While they might be published in a peer-review journal, opinions and editorials are NOT peer-reviewed
  • Express an individual author’s view on a particular issue
    • “The NSF needs to …”
    • “More scientists need to study XYZ …”
    • “These scientists are right, the others are wrong …”

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Trade Publication Articles

  • Often aimed at medical professionals (Vaccine Weekly) or particular disciplines (Chemical and Engineering News)
  • Usually summarize research published elsewhere or report industry news

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Technical Reports or Grey Literature

  • Published by government agencies and non-government organizations (e.g., World Health Organization, National Academy of Sciences, etc.)
  • Often not peer-reviewed
  • Sometimes considered “grey literature,” or materials not made available by traditional publishers

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Conference Proceedings

  • Scientists can present findings and discuss their work at a conference before publishing a paper
  • Some conferences publish papers (which may or may not be peer-reviewed) in a bound volume referred to as “Proceedings of X Conference”

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Dissertations and/or Theses

  • Final product after years of research to receive a doctoral or masters degree
  • Often very long with extensive references and appendices of data
  • While reviewed by academics, they are not considered “peer-reviewed”

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  • Published in many types of publications – newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and peer-reviewed journals
  • Can report on findings from an original research article
  • Not peer-reviewed