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Biosciences Seminar (04-491/680)


Review articles are very comprehensive in summarizing articles about what is already known on a topic. A review article is a secondary source. The reference list in each article can lead you to primary research articles.

Primary research articles report new findings. The review of literature in a primary article is based on significance and relevance to the research question behind the study rather than being comprehensive.  


Literature review

Summarize  |  Connect  |  Explain  |  Synthesize
Summarize research related to the primary research question.

Point out any connections between the sources especially where one source built upon prior study. 

Explain how this past work fits together to make your research question significant. 

The literature review lays the foundation for understanding and synthesizing your research.
Credit:  Washington & Lee University 

NOTE: commonly known scientific knowledge does not need to be referenced in a review of literature.

How do poster session authors decide what articles to include in the references section? 

"Only cite key references integral to your study, as references are wordy and space consuming. Use a smaller font to the main body text to reduce" the space needed for your references.   

Gundogan B, Koshy K, Kurar L, Whitehurst K. 2016. How to make an academic poster. Annals of medicine and surgery. [accessed 2019 February 27];11:69-71. doi:10.1016/j.amsu.2016.09.001. 
Eulalio A, Mano M, Dal Ferro M, Zentilin L, Sinagra G, Zacchigna S, Giacca M. 2012. Functional screening identified miRNAs inducing cardiac regeneration. Nature. 492:376-381.
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