MeSH: Medical Subject Headings
Database & RefWorks Tutorials
Links to Human Physiology Databases & Resources
In the sciences, information is often categorized into three types of sources: primary, secondary and tertiary. These source types are determined based on how far removed the information in the source is from original research.
In the sciences, a primary source is a source that includes original research that's documented at the time of study. A primary source will always have a Methods section that describes the researchers' procedures and materials. Primary sources can take the form of:
Secondary sources offer analysis, evaluation, interpretation and/or synthesis of primary sources. A secondary source could be:
Tertiary sources offer summaries or compilations of information from primary and secondary sources. A tertiary source could be:
There is no completely uniform language for describing document/publication types. This is true even within a single field of study, like Human Physiology. The ways documents and publications are defined can vary by journal and database. However, some of the most commonly used databases for scientific and medical information, like the National Library of Medicine, carefully define the terms they use to describe documents and publications. Understanding how databases classify and distinguish between publication & document types will provide further context for your use of this specialized information:
Scroll to the "Manuscript Preparation" section toward the bottom to see examples of book, journal article, and more citation style examples.