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Lund University

Writing and sources

A guide on writing and the use of sources intended for students at the department of Biologi and CEC.

Popular science

Popular science is science interpreted and explained to non-experts, bridging the gap between scientific publications and the political and cultural discourse. Popular science works can take many different forms such as for example books, documentaries, magazine articles and web pages. 

Popular science works are secondary sources for scientific research, and should not be used as references for scientific facts. The intention of popular science works is to accurately retell and explain science using a more accessible language, but it is not uncommon that the information in the original scientific publication has been distorted or oversimplified to some degree.  

It is also important to remember that even if the creators of popular science works, or the persons cited by, interviewed for or appearing in such works, happen to be researchers, this does not make the work itself scientific. In contrast to scientific publications, there is no peer-reviewing of popular science works. Since there is no formal quality control, you will need to determine for yourself if they are credible and relevant. You can find advice on what to consider when evaluating a source in the section Evaluating informal sources.