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General Zoology Lab (24-115): Levels of literature

Primary literature

Presents original research experiments in an article that often includes: a review of previous significant, related literature, methodology, findings, discussion and conclusion. The research is current and specialized in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Journal of Zoology.

Learn how to identify primary research articles in the sciences (video produced by science librarians at the University of Wisconsin).

Secondary literature

Secondary: Summarizes the primary literature. It is often less current and specialized.

Tiertiary literature

Tiertiary: Broad, topical information useful for background information, understanding and finding key search terms, such as species names.

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