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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.


A report is a publication presenting something which has been observed, heard, done, or investigated, for example the results of an experiment, a nature conservation project or a public inquiry. Reports are usually the primary source for the results on which they are reporting. Public authorities often communicate their work in the form of reports, but they are also common within business, education, and other fields. Scientists will sometimes author research reports describing ongoing or completed research. These reports can be published from university institutions, but also from research institutes, organizations and authorities, and they are usually not peer reviewed. 

It is important to remember that even if the author behind a report happen to be a researcher or a research institution, this does not make the report itself scientific. In contrast to scientific publications, there is no peer-reviewing of the information in a report. Since there is no formal quality control, you will need to determine for yourself if the report is credible and relevant. You can find more advice on what to consider when evaluating a source in the section Evaluating informal sources