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Library Research Skills for Land and Food Systems

Tertiary literature

How can I use this?

Tertiary Literature is helpful to understand when you're beginning research on a topic to which you have no prior exposure.

What is tertiary literature?

The final stage in the process of scholarly communication is the tertiary literature, which provides you with an overview of a topic. Tertiary literature includes sources such as:

  • Encyclopedias
  • Handbooks
  • Dictionaries

These sources are a good place to look when you are just starting to research a topic. You probably won't cite an encyclopedia or a handbook but it will give you that little push in the right direction.

Help, I don't know anything about insulin

If I didn't know anything about insulin, I might start by looking in the online reference book the Concise medical dictionary [1].

  1. Concise medical dictionary. 2010. Oxford University Press, Oxford, NY.