Library:Library Research Skills For Biologists/Module 1/Page 05

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How Can I Use This?

Tertiary Literature is helpful to understand when you're beginning research on a topic to which you have no prior exposure.

What is Tertiary Literature?

The final stage in the process of scholarly communication is the tertiary literature, which provides you with an overview of a topic. Tertiary literature includes sources such as:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks
  • Dictionaries

These sources are a good place to look when you are just starting to research a topic. You probably won't cite an encyclopedia or a handbook but it will give you that little push in the right direction.

Summary: Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources

Help, I Don't Know Anything About Insulin!

If I didn't know anything about insulin, I might start by looking in the online reference book the Concise medical dictionary [1].

References Cited:

  1. Concise medical dictionary. 2010. Oxford University Press, Oxford, NY.