Your research will focus on the primary literature. These are the first-hand accounts of new research written by those who conducted the research.
While patents, dissertations, and other documents report original research, journal articles are the most widely used primary sources in the sciences.
To recognize primary literature, consider the following:
There are many types of scientific documents written for various purposes. A few of the main ones are described below. For your paper, the most important sources will be journal articles.
Research article (journal article)
Communication (journal article) - sometimes labeled as a letter or note
Review article (journal article)
Other common types of documents that may turn up in your searches:
You should look for articles from peer reviewed sources for your research.
Peer review is a process where articles are submitted by the journal editor to be read and evaluated by experts in the field before being published. Reviewers recommend whether or not to publish and make comments and suggestions which authors must address before the article is accepted for publication. The goal is to maintain a high level of quality in articles that are published.