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York University (35,470)
Biology (2,273)
BIOL 2070 (31)
Y I Sheng (4)
Lecture 1

BIOL 2070 Lecture 1: Identifying_Academic_Journals

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Department
Biology
Course
BIOL 2070
Professor
Y I Sheng
Semester
Fall

Description
Every  day,  you  encounter  a  number  of  sources  of  scientific  information:  newspaper  or  magazine  articles,  news  stories  on  TV   or  the  radio,  in  classes,  and  on  various  websites.  Although  a  major  part  of  a  scientists  job  is  performing  research  ( e.g.,  in  the   lab   or   out   in   the   field),   these   activities   must   be   complemented   equally   with   communicating   scientific   information   (in   particular,  research  findings).  This  communication  takes  on  different  forms,  depending  on  the  audience.  In  the  scientific   community,  new  findings  (or  interpretations)  are  published  in  peer-­‐reviewed  or  scholarly  journals  that  specialize  in  particular   fields  of  study.  (These  findings/interpretations  may  also  be  communicated  at  conferences,  through  presentations  or  posters   that  will  be  seen  by  many  other  scientists  within  the  same  field.)  Scientists  communicate  less  formally  with  their  peers  in   departments,  with  their  graduate  students,  and  honours  students;  scientists  who  teach  also  communicate  with  students  in  a   class  or  lab  settings.  Occasionally,  scientists  are  consulted  by  reporters,  resulting  in  some  information  being  communicated   via  mass  media.     Whether  you  are  writing  up  a  lab  report,  working  on  a  research  paper  or  performing  research  in  a  lab,  you  will,  at  various   points  in  your  university  career,  need  to  search  for  appropriate  sources  of  scientific   information.  In  university,  you'll  hear   your  professors  repeatedly  say  that  you  should  restrict  (or  primarily  focus)  your  research  on  a  subject  to  academic  journals,   specifically  those  that  are  sources  of  primary  and  secondary  literature.  In  most  of  your  courses,  you'll  be  expected  to  find,   read  and  cite  primary  literature  sources  (i.e.,  reports  of  original  research)  as  the  major  reference  sources  for  statements  in   your  papers,  and  lab  reports.  Secondary  literature  sources  include  books  and  review  articles,  and  provide  a  summary  of  what   is  known  in  a  particular  area;  organizing,  synthesizing,  and  critically  evaluating  the  relevant  literature  on  the  topic.  Secondary   literature  can  be  very  useful  when  gathering  information  on  a  topic,  but  you   will  need  to  find  and  read  primary  articles   (referenced   in   a   piece   of   secondary   literature   when   you   are   preparing   your   own   written   work.       What  does  this  mean  in  practice?   Academic   journals   are   also   known   as   scholarly   journals.   However,   the   correct   terms   are   'peer-­‐reviewed'   or   'refereed'.       These   types   of   journals   send   out   articles   to   experts   ('referees')   for   assessment   (review)   before   making   a   decision   to   publish/not  publish.  (Think  of  it  as  checkpoints  to  determine  the  quality  of  an  article.)  Articles  must  pass  the  review  stage  in   order  to  be  published.  In  most  cases,  the  reviewers  are  outside  the  journal's  editorial  team.  (However,  some  journals  use  an   internal  review  process  rather  than  external.  These  are  often  journals  in  business  and  management,  such  as  the   Harvard   Business  Review.)       The  process  of  review  means  that  the  articles  in  academic  journals  are  generally  of  higher  quality  than  those  published  in   other  types  of  publications.  This  higher  quality  conveys  are  higher  level  of  trustworthiness.     How  Can  You  Tell  the  Difference?   In  most  cases,  you  can  tell  an  academic  journal  just  by  looking  at  it.  Use  these  guidelines  to  help  you:   • there  is  a  list  of  editorial  board  memebers  in  the  inside  front  cover  or  first  few  pages  of  an  individual  issue.  To   discover  this,  you  might  need  to  check  the  paper  copies  of  the  latest  issues  in  the  new  journal  display  area  in  Steacie   Library.   • Articles  include  the  source  of  information,  such  as  author/date  references  in  the  text,  footnotes,  or  bibliographies.   • Such  journals  often  contain  tables,  charts,  graphs,
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