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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

BIOL 3987: Communication in Biology Research Guide

This guide is intended to help students enrolled in BIOL 3987 as they research and synthesize information for seminar presentations.

Exploring a Topic

When you're choosing a topic to research, it helps to get a solid overview before diving into the primary research. This will help you introduce the topic to your audience - it also gives you a chance to decide what aspects you want to learn more about.

You can find this in sources like:


You can search the UMD catalog to find books. You don't necessarily need to read a book cover to cover; often the introduction or a specific chapter will cover what you need to know.

Finding Research

Research articles often report on a specific study or experiment (primary sources) or describe trends within a field (secondary sources).

In biology, primary research is often published in journal articles. It's also shared in other ways, including

Where you search informs what kinds of primary research documents you find. For example, the DNR reports and Washington Post analysis can both be found in a Google search, while the climate change adaption book is in Springerlink.