Reading a Scientific Article

The single most important element of science is communication. If we do not communicate our findings to the world, science knowledge would grow much more slowly since each person studying a topic couldn't learn about their topic except through their own studies. If Dr. Wortman kept his findings to himself, we would first miss out on utilizing his findings that have an effect on agroecosystems, but we would also miss out on the potential to conduct additional studies that extend out from Dr. Wortman's work.

One way scientists communicate their work is through peer-reviewed scientific articles. At times it can be difficult or challenging to read these scientific articles or find key information if you are not used to the writing structure of these scientific articles. Click on the video below to explore the structure of science research articles and go over what information is presented in each section of an article with Kristina. 

If you are having trouble viewing the video click on Academic Article Introduction


Answer the questions below to check for understanding. When you are done move on to the Standard Deviation and Standard Error page. 



Where in a scientific peer-reviewed article would you find tables and graphs?

Looks Good! The results is where the author would report their findings in the form of tables and figures (graphs)

Where would you find the detailed step by step process of how the author set up the experiment?

Looks Good! In the materials and methods the author will explain how they set up their experiment and justifying it as well.

Where in the article would you find the reasoning for conducting the experiment?

Looks Good! Authors will in a sense pull their reader in to the article by stating why they conducted the experiment and why it is important in the introduction. That way the reader has an understanding of why the experiment took place.

Where in a scientific article would the results be explained and inferred on what happened in the experiment?

Looks Good! Results are often discussed or explained in the discussion section as it is the meat and potato's of the article as it highlights what is ultimately learned or the big take away from the experiment.