Reading Primary Literature: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Research Articles in Biology

Christopher M. Gillen

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Reading Primary Literature: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Research Articles in Biology

By Christopher M. Gillen
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Christopher M. Gillen
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Reading primary literature is an exciting, rewarding part of being a scientist and Reading Primary Literature will help get students up to speed quickly in reading research articles. The booklet covers the parts of a research paper, succinctly explaining the aim of each section and how the paper works as a whole, and as a part of the larger world of science. Students select a paper to evaluate, and this book guides them through that evaluation with clear explanations, directions for reading and analyzing the material, and applied questions to encourage critical reading skills. A list of sources and references at the back helps students get started finding papers to read.


Chris Gillen is an Associate Professor of Biology at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.  He guides students through the primary research literature in upper level classes including Animal Physiology and Integrative Animal Biology as well as introductory Biology of Exercise, a course for non-science majors. Gillen won the 2002 Kenyon College Junior Trustee Teaching Excellence Award for “superb teaching, characterized by a contagious enthusiasm for science.”


Table of contents
Brief Table of Contents
Section 1: Introduction to the booklet
Section 2: Finding research articles
Section 3: The Anatomy of a Paper
Section 4: The Introduction
Section 5: The Methods
Section 6: The Results
Section 7: The Discussion
Section 8: Putting it all together