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Biology 071 - Human Anatomy: Current Topics Project

Scientific Literature

To be successful in your Current Topics Project, you will need to find a primary research article in a peer reviewed / refereed journal. There are two types of research articles in peer-reviewed science journals: primary and secondary.

Primary research articles describe original research written by the researcher(s) of the study. These include original research articles and case studies. For your Current Topics assignment you will need to find a primary research article on an assigned body structure (bone, muscles, nerves, vessels, etc.). The following are examples of appropriate peer reviewed/refereed research articles for the Current Topics Assignment:

  • Case Study Article Example--In the medical field, a case study is generally an in-depth analysis of a specific patient's health issue.
  • Second Case Study Example
  • Original Research Article Example--A report on the research study that explains the purpose of the study, the demographics of the groups studied, how the study was conducted (methodology) and data collected, the results of the study and why the research is valuable.

Review Arizona State University's Ask A Biologist website to learn more about how to identify an original research article by its components.

Parts of a scholarly article. Review linked site for details.

Secondary research provides a summary and/or analysis of original scientific research. The most common type of secondary research articles are review articles. These types of articles summarize a number of research studies in a particular area and provide analysis on the research as a whole. Review articles are not appropriate for your Current Topic Assignments.

Opinion pieces can also be published in scientific journals. The most common types of these articles that you will come across are editorials or perspective articles. While written by experts, these are subjective essays and are also not appropriate for your Current Topics assignment.

Where to find articles for the Current Topics Project

To find articles for you Current Topics Assignment, please search the library's databases for primary research articles. The following are appropriate databases to search for your assignment:

Google Scholar

If you are not able to find an article for your Current Topics Project in one of the library's databases, try searching Google Scholar. Google Scholar is a free search engine that can link you to free academic journal articles in a variety of fields, including human anatomy. Not all articles are freely accessible, but those that are will provide the full text link to the right of the title. Watch the following 3 minute video for more details: