BCHM464, Spring 2011 Biochemical Literature 1Accessing and Referencing the Biochemical Literature Keeping up to date with and organizing scientific literature are integral aspects of science. With over 700,000 new articles published each year, this task can be daunting. The goal of this session is to introduce you to tools that will allow you to find articles that might be of interest, keep them organized, and cite them properly. We will also learn how to read science articles efficiently by taking advantage of their format. How to Read a Scientific Article: The purpose of a scientific article is to communicate a new finding, and this is done in a very specific way. Articles are usually comprised of the following sections: Title: One or two sentences that describe the findings. Abstract:A brief summary of the article. Introduction: Contains background information that the authors consider necessary to understand their experiments. It usually starts general, but gets more specific and in the last couple of paragraphs, we should be able to find the hypothesis if the article is well written. The introduction should explain why the study was performed, describe the knowledge that already exists about the subject and state the specific purpose of the study. Materials and Methods:Contains a description of the materials, instruments and protocols used to carry out the experiments. It is supposed to be detailed enough so that others can reproduce the experiments, but it assumes that the reader has the same level of skills that you do. For example, it would not be appropriate to describe what volumes where used to make dilutions since, given the final concentration used in an experiment, the reader would know how to do these calculations. Results:A description of the results of the experiments. This section usually contains the majority of the tables and graphs, which are used to summarize or display data. Discussion:This section is where the interpretation and implications of the experiments is discussed. It will relate the findings to previous knowledge in the field, and expand on the results significance. Conclusions:Summarizes what was performed, what was observed, and how the results were interpreted. This should place the results in context of the “big picture.” References:A list of those articles that were paraphrased or quoted, or contributed to the development of an idea, or from which ideas were borrowed. If you are not familiar with the subject, it is a good idea to start with related review articles, which contain a more extensive introduction and summaries of recent
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