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EVR3323: Journal Articles

Introduction to Ecosystem Restoration

Article Types

What type of article are you looking for or looking at?

These categories are not rigid and some of them overlap.  Here are some characteristics to help identify the article type:

Original Research articles: (peer reviewed)

  • typically published in a journal
  • highly likely to have been peer-reviewed
  • They are structured like lab reports, with sections for:  the abstract or summary of the project, introduction and literature review, hypothesis or experimental question, method or procedure used, results and data gathered,  the analysis or interpretation of the data, and conclusions.
  • Their purpose is to serve as the primary (first) report of research, and they are used by practitioners as a theoretical base for their applications. Research articles contain highly technical language for an experienced or educated audience.
  • Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is peer-reviewed.  Many academic or research journals also include editorials, comments, conference summaries, and book reviews that may not be peer-reviewed.

Peer reviewed (or Refereed):

  • usually (but not always) research articles
  • peer review process should be clearly described in journal
  • frequently, but not always, identified by a string of dates on each article published. Passage of time between submission, revision, and final acceptance may suggest that the author’s peers reviewed the article for reproducibility and value of the contribution
  • peer review is typically conducted anonymously by scholars external to the author's institution.  Authors do not typically know who is reviewing their writing ("single blind"). In "double blind peer review" the authors names are also concealed from reviewers
  • Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is peer-reviewed.  Many academic or research journals also include editorials, comments, conference summaries, and reviews that may not be peer-reviewed.

Review articles: (peer reviewed)

  • summarize published literature about a topic, providing historical context for current research
  • may identify trends, replication of results, and hypotheses that need further research and testing

Conference papers:

  • may present "works in progress
  • In some cases the conference paper may be peer-reviewed, and sometimes only the abstract is peer-reviewed.  Conference papers might be published in conference proceedings, but not all conferences produce proceedings

Technical reports: (not peer reviewed)

  • are structured like case studies: or "how I solved this problem."
  • They serve as a project report to the funding source, which may be a federal, state, or local government agency.  Tech reports are not always available; they may be kept proprietary, especially if client is a non-governmental corporation.

Trade publication articles: (not peer reviewed)

  •  frequently published in magazines or journals
  •  written for practitioners
  • They are structured informally, and they may contain lots of advertising and short news items providing up-to-date information about products, meetings and research.  Articles are brief and usually do not have references at the end.

Popular articles: (not peer reviewed)

  • published in magazines and and other news sources intended for non-specialist audiences
  • typically do not contain original research results

Websites, press releases, encyclopedia entries: (not peer reviewed)

  • use with caution, and evaluate for authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage

Peer review

Q. What is peer review?

A. For an article to be published in an academic journal, it must be examined by experts in the field. They determine whether the information is reliable, well researched, and of interest to others who study that subject.

 

Q. How can I tell if an article is peer-reviewed?

A. There are several ways to determine if an article is refereed (peer-reviewed). The best way is to read the publisher's policies at the journal website (look for Peer Review or Editorial Policy, Submission or Author Guidelines). Beware that peer-reviewed journals also include content that is not peer reviewed, such as letters and book reviews. A peer-reviewed article will usually show a string of dates, usually either near the abstract or at the bottom of the 1st page of the PDF version or at the end of the article, showing when the article was submitted, revised, and accepted.

Example: Manuscript received November 9, 2020; revised February 5, 2021. Published July 24, 2021.

 

Library databases may offer the ability to filter search results to display only peer-reviewed publications. Search engines, like Google Scholar, includes both peer-reviewed and "grey" literature that is not commercially published and may not be peer reviewed.

Peer-Reviewed and Supporting Resources

Peer-reviewed Resources acceptable for this class:

  • research articles
  • peer reviewed journal articles
  • review articles

Supporting Resources:

  • technical reports
  • conference papers
  • trade publication articles
  • popular articles
  • websites
  • encyclopedia entries

Criteria for Evaluating a Resource

When evaluating a resource, whether it is print or internet-based, there are questions you can ask yourself to determine if it is high quality and a good match for your project or paper. These questions fall into the following 5 categories:

  • Authority
    Who created the resource? Are the author, organization, affiliations, and publisher clearly shown? If the page is web-based does it link to information about the organization? Does the author have credintials or expertise in the subject matter? Is the resource from a government agency, university, company, non-profit organization?

  • Accuracy
    Is the information contained in the source properly cited? Is there a bibliography or reference list? Can you verify the information in other sources? Is the information free of grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors? Is the statistical data clearly explained? Are charts and graphs properly represented and cited?

  • Objectivity
    Is the resource free of advertizing? Or, if there is advertizing, is it clearly seperate from content? Is there any bias? Is the sponsoring organization bias or motivated to report facts from a particular perspective?

  • Currency
    When was the resource created? When was it updated/ revised? Is it kept current? When was the information gathered?

  • Coverage
    Is the information complete? Does it cover the subject in depth? Does it match your information needs?

    These criteria were adapted from a worksheet used by Harvard University's Widener Science Library.

 

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