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A Word About Document Types
Neither primary nor secondary articles are easy to isolate during database searching. Most databases do not identify primary articles as such.
Review articles may be identified as such or as "historical" articles and can sometimes be isolated in scientific databases by selecting the "review" article (or similar) option on advanced search screens. However, because not all review articles are identified, many important articles can be missed using this method. Doing a keyword search for "review," "systematic review," "review article," etc., is another way to find review articles.
Where to Find Primary and Secondary Sources in the Sciences
The following science databases contain both primary and secondary literature.
General Science EBSCO
Covers everything from supernovas to marine pollution. A good starting point for researchers seeking information on a variety of scientific topics. Coverage: 1984-present. Some Full-Text.
PubMed (with Dickinson links)
PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine, includes over 15 million citations for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. These citations are from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. This special version includes Dickinson library's "Get It" links to additional full-text. Coverage: 1950s to present. Some Full-Text.
Articles in the journals published by Elsevier. A collection of articles focusing on science, technology and medicine. Coverage: Varied some 1850 to present. Some Full-Text.
Web of Knowledge
Searches arts & humanities, social science, and science materials, and allows the user to see what other articles have cited a chosen paper. Provides access to Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1975-Present), Science and Social Sciences Citation Indexes (1900-present), Conference Proceedings Citation Index (1990-present) Book Citation Index (2005-present), Current Chemical Reactions (1985-present), and Index Chemicus (1993-present). Coverage Range: 1900-present; Citations Only.