Hippo calf and mother at the San Diego Zoo. © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
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Primary source: Authoritative firsthand account, or original creative work
Secondary source: Summary, interpretation, critique, or analysis
Tip: An article from a scholarly journal or newspaper may be either.
Peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals have long been the gold standard for publishing research findings. When you search literature databases, look for the option to limit results to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.
Anyone can publish anything on the internet! The following guidelines will help you identify reliable online information sources:
Unfortunately, newcomers looking for a quick profit are muddying the waters of scholarly publishing. These so-called predatory publishers do not rigorously review or fact-check articles before publishing, but they falsely advertise themselves as "peer-reviewed." Such scams are becoming disturbingly common.
Before you cite information from a journal, submit a manuscript, or agree to serve on an editorial board, please check the links below and take the following steps:
Keep in mind, not all open-access journals are from predatory publishers. Many open-access journals are reputable and authoritative university, society, or other non-profit initiatives.
All of these are available on the MU Libraries home page at Databases A-Z: