How to DIY Research Online

How to do your own research:

Primary (cell biology/biotechnology) literature reports the results of original research by scientists. This literature includes an abstract, materials, methods, results, cited sources, and is peer reviewed by anonymous experts in the field (prior to publication). Once again, this example is considered a primary literature source. A secondary literature source includes articles found in newspapers, books, and other media outlets, written for an audience.

Doing research does not include going down a rabbit hole of YouTube videos, Facebook viral posts, and biased news outlets. Reading and understanding is another ballpark. Understand what you are reading, terminology, methods, and basic biology, anatomy, and chemistry in general is also important.

Transparency is vital in the field of biotechnology (and biomedical science) as other scientists should be able to pick up a legal lab book or view research and replicate the same results, or even challenge the results. There are also regulations involved as well as bioethicists to ensure safety and ethics are followed.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), PubMed, and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) are examples of primary literature. If you type in one word into the search bar of these sites, you may pull up 75,000 journals. Continue to add words to refine your search and narrow it down to 25 or so articles. Before making a claim, ask: are other journals or scientists coming across similar findings, or did you find the needle in the haystack published 15 years ago?

Create a document with your list of sources, including the author, link, and date of publication.

Congratulations, you just learned how to research on a competent level that is much deeper than a clickbait media headline.

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