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Gould Library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

Primary Sources

Biology

Primary Sources in this discipline include primary research articles (original research that has been peer-reviewed), data/research, and materials such as conference reports. Reviews, editorial articles, or articles about a study are some kinds of secondary sources in this discipline. Reviews in particular can be useful to help you find primary sources. One general tip for distinguishing between a review and a primary research article is that a review will often not include a "Material and Methods" section in their article. Below are some resources to help you get started finding primary sources for Biology.

Here are a few tips for navigating Web of Science: when you are looking for a primary research article, filter for "article" rather than "review" in your search results (this will help weed out the reviews); then, look at where the remaining results are published, if the word "Review" is in the journal title, there is a good chance that it is a review rather than a primary research article.

Please reach out to Audrey Gunn (agunn@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in this discipline!

Chemistry

Primary Sources in this discipline include primary research articles (original research that has been peer-reviewed), data/research, and materials such as conference reports. Reviews, editorial articles, or articles about a study are some kinds of secondary sources in this discipline. Reviews in particular can be useful to help you find primary sources. One general tip for distinguishing between a review and a primary research article is that a review will often not include a "Material and Methods" section in their article. Below are some resources to help you get started finding primary sources for Chemistry. Please see the Biology section of this guide for tips on using Web of Science. Here are some tips to help you navigate SciFinder:

  • You have to have an account to use this database, but they are free to make and you can use your Carleton email to make the account.
  • Once in SciFinder, filter your search results for "journal" or "clinical trial" rather than "review" in order to get primary research articles.

Please reach out to Audrey Gunn (agunn@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in this discipline!

Computer Science

Primary sources in this discipline include data sets, algorithms, and code libraries/methods/functions that are used in original projects. While you often can't search by topic, searching for scholarship (secondary sources) related to your project is a good way to get to these primary sources. Once you find a collection of resources that might be useful, the best way to go through it is to take small, browse-able sections and look through each of those because you often cannot search by topic within these larger collections of resources. This process can be very tricky, so don't worry if it takes you a long time, and don't be afraid to reach out for help! Below are some places that can help you start looking for these primary resources. The Software Design course guide has some good tips for finding data sets on its "Finding Data" page. The Computer Science guide has some more suggestions for finding scholarship that can lead you to primary sources on its "Finding the State of the Art" page. Please reach out to Iris Jastram (ijastram@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in this discipline!

Geology

Primary Sources in this discipline include primary research articles (original research that has been peer-reviewed), data/research, and materials such as conference reports. Reviews, editorial articles, or articles about a study are some kinds of secondary sources in this discipline. Reviews in particular can be useful to help you find primary sources. One general tip for distinguishing between a review and a primary research article is that a review will often not include a "Material and Methods" section in their article. Below are some resources to help you get started finding primary sources for Geology. Please see the Biology section of this guide for tips on using Web of Science. GeoRef does not have the same kinds of filters as Web of Science and some of the other databases for the other sciences, so just make sure to check to make sure articles are primary research articles not reviews. Please reach out to Audrey Gunn (agunn@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in this discipline!

Mathematics and Statistics

Primary Sources in these disciplines are often [insert math primary source here], or a data set for statistics. Below are some resources that can be good places to start looking for these primary sources. Please contact Kristin Partlo (kpartlo@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources in these disciplines!

Physics and Astronomy

Primary sources in Physics and Astronomy often consists of data collected in the lab. This can either be original data or data sets created by other researchers. Below are some resources that are good places to start looking for these kinds of primary sources. Please contact Kristin Partlo (kpartlo@carleton.edu) if you need any help finding primary sources for Physics and Astronomy!