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Biology & Earth Sciences

This guide will provide resources and assistance to students majoring, minoring, and/or taking classes within the Department of Biology and Earth Science.

Primary & Secondary Sources

A primary source is a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on a topic. Primary sources are usually created by individuals who experienced the event and recorded or wrote about it. 

A great place to start looking for primary sources is in the bibliography of a secondary source like a book or journal article. The bibliography will list the full citation for the primary source include the name of the collection, the name of the institution that owns the collection and where it is located.



Secondary Sources

A secondary source is one that was created later by someone that did not experience firsthand or participate in the events in which the author is writing about. Secondary sources often summarize, interpret, analyze or comment on information found in primary sources.

A great place to start looking for secondary sources like journal articles is in the library databases. You can find our databases in our A to Z List of All Databases.



Use the A-Z Journal List!

When you are looking for a particular journal or magazine, always check the Otterbein A-Z list to see if we have it. 

If we don't have the journal you need, remember that you can always do Interlibrary Loan to get the article.