- See: Corpora, Science Citation Index.
- Scientific literature comprises scientific publications that report original empirical and theoretical work in the natural and social sciences, and within a scientific field is often abbreviated as the literature. Academic publishing is the process of placing the results of one's research into the literature. Scientific research on original work initially published in scientific journals is called primary literature. Patents and technical reports, for minor research results and engineering and design work (including computer software) can also be considered primary literature. Secondary sources include articles in review journals (which provide a synthesis of research articles on a topic to highlight advances and new lines of research), and books for large projects, broad arguments, or compilations of articles. Tertiary sources might include encyclopedias and similar works intended for broad public consumption.
- Scientific literature can include the following kinds of publications:
- scientific articles published in scientific journals
- patents specialized for science and technology (for example, biological patents and chemical patents)
- books wholly written by one or a small number of co-authors
- books, where each chapter is the responsibility of a different author or set of authors, though the editor may take some responsibility for ensuring consistency of style and content
- presentations at academic conferences, especially those organized by learned societies
- government reports such as a forensic investigation conducted by a government agency such as the NTSB
- scientific publications on the World Wide Web
- books, technical reports, pamphlets, and working papers issued by individual researchers or research organisations on their own initiative; these are sometimes organised into a series
- The significance of these different components of the literature varies between disciplines and has changed over time. As of 2006 peer-reviewed journal articles remain the predominant publication type, and have the highest prestige. However, journals vary enormously in their prestige and importance, and the value of a published article depends on the journal. The significance of books, also called research monographs depends on the subject. Generally books published by university presses are usually considered more prestigious than those published by commercial presses. The status of working papers and conference proceedings depends on the discipline; they are typically more important in the applied sciences. The value of publication as a preprint or scientific report on the web has in the past been low, but in some subjects, such as mathematics or high energy physics, it is now an accepted alternative.
- (Jönsson, 2004) ⇒ K. Ingemar Jönsson. (2004). "On the Disparate Terminological Use of the Concept Cryptobiosis." In: Journal of Fish Diseases, 27(3). doi:10.1111/j.1365-2761.2004.00534.x
- (Garfield, 1996) ⇒ Eugene Garfield. (1996). "The Significant Scientific Literature Appears In A Small Core Of Journals." In: The Scientist Vol:10(17) p.13, September 2, 1996
- (Small, 1973) ⇒ Henry Small. (1973). "Co-citation in the Scientific Literature: A new measure of the relationship between two documents." In: Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 24(4). doi:10.1002/asi.4630240406.