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Plant 105 - Food, Society, and Environment

Read and Evaluate Journal Articles

1. Does the journal include peer-reviewed articles?
 Search for your journal title in  Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory to see if it is scholarly/academic and refereed (peer-reviewed).

Now look at the article itself:

2. Is it a primary research article, i.e.,  a report of original research, written by the researcher(s)?

Even if you determined that the journal in which an article was published is scholarly, these journals usually also contain other types of articles such as editorials, commentary, research briefs and news.  
    ♦ Clues you might find in the abstract include words such as:
      study, results, methods/methodology, data, experimental, field trial
     ♦ Look at the format of the article. Does it follow the "typical format"?

3. Consider the Publication Date:
Is the article sufficiently up-to-date for your purpose?

4. Is it Relevant?
Does this information relate to your topic or answer your question?

Reading a primary research article using the typical format of a primary research as a guide:
1
    
    2 
       
3  

Title
Author and Institutional Affiliation
Abstrac
t
Introduction
    Literature Review

        Methods
    Findings or Results
Discussion
Conclusions

        References
        Tables
        Figures

How to Read a Scientific Paper

Tutorial from Purdue University Libraries