BB 2905: Searching for Solutions in Soil: Microbial and Molecular Investigations

Professor Buckholt

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About this Guide

This guide has been developed for students completing BB 2915 in B-term 2017.  Please use the resources here as a place to begin Experiment 6: Research the Significance of the ESKAPE Pathogens.

Learning the Language of Microbes

Every discipline has a language all its own.  Use the following sources to start understanding the basics and to learn the "language" of the microbe you are investigating.  Use the keywords and concepts that you find here to dig deeper in the primary literature.

Primary Scientific Literature

What is primary scientific literature?

Primary literature is a report on the results of original research, and should include information on the methods used, the data and results obtained, a discussion of the results, and a list of references used in the design and analysis of the research.

Primary scientific literature has several characteristics:

1. A logical organization structure that will include some combination of the following sections:

  • Abstract (summary)
  • Introduction - background, research objective, hypothesis
  • Methodology (aka Materials and Methods) - detailed accounting of the substances, procedures and protocols, including equipment and tools, used to conduct the research
  • Results - reporting of research results, including types of analysis conducted, with no interpretation.
  • Discussion - interpretation of results including potential biases and shortcomings
  • Conclusion (optional) - if not part of the Discussion will indicate next steps

2. Authors may use "We" or "I" to describe what was done

3. Language is usually very specific: mentioning particular places, organisms, software, techniques, etc.

Finding Primary Literature in Biology