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Literature Research for DLA and CU SPUR: What are Research Articles?

What is the process for publishing research?

Researchers, like your research mentors, conduct original research and then publish articles about their research in scholarly journals. Articles published in scholarly journals usually go through a peer review process. Researchers may also present their research at a professional conference and in this case they also write a paper that is peer reviewed and published in the proceedings of the conference.

Lets explore how the peer review process works using the video "Peer Review in 3 Minutes" by the the North Carolina State University Library. 

What is the purpose of each part of a research article?

Next, lets explore the what is in each section of a typical scholarly literature article using the video The Anatomy of a Scientific Article by the Writing Center at CU Denver. 

Why do researchers need to find published research articles?

Now that you know how researchers publish their research in peer-reviewed journal articles, lets consider why searching for these research articles is an important part of doing your own original research. Reasons to find and read research articles include:

  • Understand what is known on this topic.
  • Understand the research currently being done in the field, and learn who the other researchers in your field are.
  • Learn why the research is important.
  • Learn what questions remain unanswered and thus what research remains to be done. 
  • Learn what methods have been used to explore the topic.
  • Learn about a new method.
  • Ensure you are not repeating work that has already been done.
  • In the anatomy of a research article video you heard about several sections of an article that may cite literature, including the introduction, methods, and discussion, so you may need to find literature to cite in similar sections of your paper or presentation.
    • Science isn’t done in a vacuum, you need to give credit to work previosly done by others. 
    • Citing others work establishes your credibility as a researcher.
    • Citing others work helps your readers develop a deeper understanding of your work and the broader topic. 

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Journal Publication Workflow Infographic

Note: this information is not in the Canvas learning module. This infographic is provided as an additional resource for learning about the peer-review process.

Journal Publication Workflow infographic by Jayashree Rajagopalan

Infographic by Jayashree Rajagopalan