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BIO 4199 Scientific Communications: Assignment

This guide is to help students prepare their annotated bibliography for Dr. Danley's Fall 2015 class.

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Christina Chan-Park
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Getting Started

Each student will prepare a short annotated bibliography in APA style related to two (2) of the seminars presented this semester. For each topic you select, you should create an annotated bibliography of at least four recent (since 2007) primary journal articles, including at least one by the presenting author.  This means you will read a minimum of 8 scientific articles for this class.

Reading, Summarizing, and Annotating a Scientific Paper

Scientific research articles usually include

  • abstract:  highlights of the major points of the paper
  • introduction/background:  context and purpose or the experiment
  • methods:  what was done
  • results:  sometimes combined with the methods or analysis
  • analysis:  how well did the experiment work
  • discussion:  sometimes combined with the analysis or conclusions
  • conclusions/future work

Knowing the different sections of a scientific article will make it easier to understand the article.  By comparing the same section across papers, you might be able to discern how the science has evolved or the influences of one group on the other.

Questions and themes to consider as you read.

  • Evaluation of the author’s background. Affiliation of authors and (if possible) some evaluation of their level of expertise. Sometimes you can check the bibliography and see that they have published many articles on the topic. In other cases this is harder from a journal article.
  • For whom is the article intended? Other researchers in the field? Physicians? General public?
  • Brief summary of how study was conducted and key findings. 
  • This may include the purpose or the hypothesis behind the experiment, the method used to test the hypothesis, whether the data support the hypothesis or not, and why.
  • Relevance of this information to your bibliography topic. “This study clarifies the mechanism by which the disease is transmitted…..: etc.

Science Research Workshops

Sign up for Science Research Workshops on

  • Creating Scientific Poster Presentations
  • Data Management
  • Patents
  • Reading Scientific Papers
  • Standards
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Writing Scientific Abstracts

and more!  Click here for full descriptions of the workshops.

We are happy to provide in-class instruction or online modules for your classes on a variety of topics or to work with you on designing assignments.  Please contact STEM Librarians or your liaison for more information.