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pubmed.gov a primary source? help?

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It says i have to use primary sources for my extended essay, i've found articles on pubmed.gov for my biology extended essay, they give me raw data of their experiments, along with a hefty text. If i used this and made my own interpretation of the results, would this be considered raw data? And if so why not?

I know theoretical science essays always do poorly, but have to continue with my topic as my supervisor wont answer my emails in the summer. I can't understand why its so bad to use professional data if i come up with my own interpretation.

Also, can anyone explain to me how to use referencing? I know there are different types but i would really appreciate it if someone told me the easiest one to use for a science essay! I want to make sure i get it right :)

Thanks for the help

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Pubmed isn't a primary source, it's like a big database of people's research. So say I was researching colorectal cancer and I wanted to use this article:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23857598

I wouldn't credit pubmed, I would find the original piece in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease from the 16th of July so I could read more than just the abstract and then my reference would be something like:


Haanstra JF, Vasen HF et al. (2013) Quality Colonoscopy and risk of interval cancer in Lynch Syndrome. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2013 Jul 16 [Epub ahead of print].

For referencing, I suggest you look up how to format it and then stick with a particular system e.g. the Harvard System, the Vancouver System. I think there are some examples on the EE forum for how to reference. Basically it doesn't matter what you use, just stick to it and make sure you do it all correctly.

As for the raw data issue, yes it is raw data assuming you're literally using their first results, but it's not raw data that you created. It's not ideally suited to your question, it's not something you're familiar with, you didn't design the method and won't have an understanding of the techniques used, it's harder for you to critique and of course you've got to justify all of the aspects of it including integrating data found in a variety of different ways across different journals, papers etc. which you presumably have to weight, again with justification. You also, I suspect, lose marks on the holistic judgement. In all honesty, it doesn't really matter how you argue it, just that theoretical essays score badly. None of us are here to defend the examiners or guess why they mark as they do, it's just a fact that they don't like them. If I were you I'd wait until the summer is over, plan an experiment to do during the summer, research it and so on, then all you have to do is spend a few weeks getting the data when you go back to school, analyse it and boom, you're done. You can even write part of the essay over the summer with the background, method, predictions and so on.

But it's your essay and it's up to you.

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Pubmed isn't a primary source, it's like a big database of people's research. So say I was researching colorectal cancer and I wanted to use this article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23857598

I wouldn't credit pubmed, I would find the original piece in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease from the 16th of July so I could read more than just the abstract and then my reference would be something like:

Haanstra JF, Vasen HF et al. (2013) Quality Colonoscopy and risk of interval cancer in Lynch Syndrome. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2013 Jul 16 [Epub ahead of print].

For referencing, I suggest you look up how to format it and then stick with a particular system e.g. the Harvard System, the Vancouver System. I think there are some examples on the EE forum for how to reference. Basically it doesn't matter what you use, just stick to it and make sure you do it all correctly.

As for the raw data issue, yes it is raw data assuming you're literally using their first results, but it's not raw data that you created. It's not ideally suited to your question, it's not something you're familiar with, you didn't design the method and won't have an understanding of the techniques used, it's harder for you to critique and of course you've got to justify all of the aspects of it including integrating data found in a variety of different ways across different journals, papers etc. which you presumably have to weight, again with justification. You also, I suspect, lose marks on the holistic judgement. In all honesty, it doesn't really matter how you argue it, just that theoretical essays score badly. None of us are here to defend the examiners or guess why they mark as they do, it's just a fact that they don't like them. If I were you I'd wait until the summer is over, plan an experiment to do during the summer, research it and so on, then all you have to do is spend a few weeks getting the data when you go back to school, analyse it and boom, you're done. You can even write part of the essay over the summer with the background, method, predictions and so on.

But it's your essay and it's up to you.

Thats really good advice, what is the average grade for an essay of this type? Can i at least pass?

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Pubmed isn't a primary source, it's like a big database of people's research. So say I was researching colorectal cancer and I wanted to use this article:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23857598

I wouldn't credit pubmed, I would find the original piece in the International Journal of Colorectal Disease from the 16th of July so I could read more than just the abstract and then my reference would be something like:

Haanstra JF, Vasen HF et al. (2013) Quality Colonoscopy and risk of interval cancer in Lynch Syndrome. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2013 Jul 16 [Epub ahead of print].

For referencing, I suggest you look up how to format it and then stick with a particular system e.g. the Harvard System, the Vancouver System. I think there are some examples on the EE forum for how to reference. Basically it doesn't matter what you use, just stick to it and make sure you do it all correctly.

As for the raw data issue, yes it is raw data assuming you're literally using their first results, but it's not raw data that you created. It's not ideally suited to your question, it's not something you're familiar with, you didn't design the method and won't have an understanding of the techniques used, it's harder for you to critique and of course you've got to justify all of the aspects of it including integrating data found in a variety of different ways across different journals, papers etc. which you presumably have to weight, again with justification. You also, I suspect, lose marks on the holistic judgement. In all honesty, it doesn't really matter how you argue it, just that theoretical essays score badly. None of us are here to defend the examiners or guess why they mark as they do, it's just a fact that they don't like them. If I were you I'd wait until the summer is over, plan an experiment to do during the summer, research it and so on, then all you have to do is spend a few weeks getting the data when you go back to school, analyse it and boom, you're done. You can even write part of the essay over the summer with the background, method, predictions and so on.

But it's your essay and it's up to you.

Thats really good advice, what is the average grade for an essay of this type? Can i at least pass?

A Group 4 EE (biology, chemistry, physics) that doesn't have its own experiment, that is using someone else's results as their data, tends to do poorly. The average grade for these types of EEs seem to be a D or worse. So while yes, a D is "passing," why would you want to get a D or fail it?

I would find a topic you can do an experiment with, or modify your topic to include one.

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