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BIOL 520 - Price/Laird: Home

Necessary library skills for graduate students abound!  


Leveraging the RefWorks citation system to your benefit is one of the best first steps that you can do.  In our library session, we will work our way through the RefWorks system, learning how you can save article information, cite articles in the necessary citation style(s) you need, collaborate with your research fellows/advisor(s) via the platform, and even annotate the articles in your personal collection.  


For your library session, you need to find 5 scientific articles on your research topic of choice, and put them into your RefWorks account.  Once you have done this, and once you have met with Susan - you need to submit your 5 sources per the Developmental Neurobiology style.  


Course Overview

BIOL 520 introduces new graduate students, pursuing a Master's of Science degree, to important aspects of becoming a successful graduate student.  Course topics include:
  • common misconceptions
  • cultivating respect
  • manuscript writing
  • proper citations
  • academic misconduct
  • keeping a research notebook
  • social networking
  • CV/Resume writing

Types of Scientific Literature

Primary Literature Secondary Literature
  • Tertiary Literature
  • Original research and/or new discoveries!
  • Research activities that have immediate results.
  • Data analyses from information collected in the field or generated in the lab.
  • Summaries of someone else's original research article.
  • A book covering scientific research that has happened in a specific area.


  • Condensed versions of materials under a single subject heading.
  • A piece that references primary or secondary literature sources.
  • "Overview" materials that summarize an entire subject in just a few pages.


Peer-reviewed & published journal articles

Dissertations (Example - for your PhD)

Technical reports

Conference Proceedings


A review of current trends in _____ (genetics; neurobiology; virology; etc.)







"Facts on File" type sites