USES OF BIOCHEMICAL
LITERETURE

Beginning
students of  biochemistry usually
encounter the subject through a mixture of lectures, textbook reading  and laboratory experiments. In all of these , the
ideas and information are normally presented as material well established and
which therefore, is not to be questioned but to be simply understood and
memorized. Following are the major uses of biochemical literature:

 

LITERETURE SEARCHING

The
essence of the method is that the instructor provides the student with a
reference to a single paper which is known to be part of a sustained sequence
of research on a defined topic. The background of the research , the questions
it poses and their significance are discussed in class by the instructor and
students are then required to use the biochemical literature both to trace the
subsequent development of the research up to the present time and to survey the
previous work on this specific topic. To enable students to do this , they are
taught about major abstracting and reference services available in biochemistry
with emphasis on the uses of Biological  Abstracts to follow any theme from a
reference paper back to earlier articles and eventually to the origins of the
work as well as the use of Biological
Citation Index to trace subsequent work on the theme up to the present day.
The scope of this literature search can be limited to fit the amount of time
available by restricting the theme to a narrow topic or by simply following the
work and progress of a single laboratory or group of scientists.

 

PROGRESS AND DISCOVERY

Reading
the biochemical literature and trying to develop one’s own line of inquiry ,
then progressing forward in time to see how the work actually did develop and
what answers were obtained creates a strong sense of progress and discovery. The
result is that the student enjoys the stimulation of research and the
satisfaction of discovery without actually having to spend the effort or time
of the research worker and can have this experience long before he or she is
equipped to enter the research laboratory. In the process, the student will
inevitably be exposed not only to the development of information and ideas in
the chosen topic but also to the methods and approaches used. Greater or lesser
emphasis may be placed upon these approaches by the instructor depending upon
the place of the topic in the course and the time available.

 

CHOICE OF EXAMPLE

Any
major area of biochemistry may be approached in this way. Even early in a first
course one may successfully introduce a literature segment covering the
development of amino acid sequencing in proteins. It is important in
introducing such themes that the instructor first explores the theme thoroughly
in the literature so as to chose topics which do not include concepts not yet
covered in the course , and is able to limit the topic and provide guidelines
for the students so that the search will be fruitful and not too time-consuming
. A review which summarizes the major articles in the development of the
research theme and which emphasizes the major advances 
of understanding and/or techniques in each paper should be prepared and
distributed following the completion of each segment of study to ensure that
all students have grasped the major ideas.

 

ANALYSING THE RESEARCH

Biochemical literature
comes in the form of systematic reviews and literature
reviews . Systematic reviews determine an objective list of criteria,
and find all previously published original research papers that meet this
particular criteria. They then compare the results presented in these papers.
Literature reviews, by contrast, provide a summary of what the authors believe
are the best and most relevant prior publications. The concept of review article is isolated from the
concept of peer-reviewed literature.
It is possible that a review is also peer reviewed and also it is possible for
a review to be non-peer-reviewed. In this way Systemic reviews and Literature
reviews analyze or discuss the research that is previously published by
scientists rather than reporting novel research results.

 

PROVIDES CONNECTION WITH
READER

Biochemical
literature
helps create a sort of rapport with audience or readers. As a result, they can
give you credit for your due diligence: you have done your fact-finding and
fact-checking mission, one of the initial steps of any research writing.

As a student, we may not be
an expert in a given field; however, by listing a thorough review in research
paper, we are telling the audience, in essence, that we know what we are
talking about. As a result, the more books, articles, and other sources we can
list in the literature review, the more trustworthy our
scholarship and expertise will be. Depending on the nature of our research
paper, each entry can be long or short. For example, if we are writing a doctoral
dissertation or thesis, the entries can be longer than the ones in a research
paper. The key is to stick to the sources as we synthesize the source in the
review: its thesis, research methods, findings, issues, and further discussions
mentioned in the source.

 

HELPS AVOIDING INCIDENTAL PLAIGERISM

Imagine
this situation. You have written a research paper, an original paper in your
area of expertise, without a literature review or any kind of help from various
sites. When you are about to publish the paper, you learn that someone has
already published a paper on a topic almost similar to yours. Of course, you
have not plagiarized or copied anything from that publication; however, when
and if you publish your work, people will be suspicious of  the authenticity of your work . They will ask
further about the significance and reason behind repeating similar research.
Had you prepared a literature review at the onset of your research, you could
have easily avoided such misunderstood situation. During the compilation of
your work , you could have noticed how someone else has done similar work on
your topic. By knowing this fact, you can modify your own research in such a
way that it is not a mere copying of someone else’s original or old research
work.

 

 

PROVIDING A SUMMARY OF RESEARCH                                                                                       
By reading
biochemical literature thoroughly we can get an idea of the whole researching
process. Usually the complete research is very lengthy and complicated but when
it acquires the form of literature , it not only becomes comprehensive but also
easily graspable . Reading literature is easy as well as time saving. Also
biochemical literature provides a summary of research work which is useful for
gaining appropriate knowledge of a certain topic. Without biochemical
literature , gaining knowledge would have been too difficult and time
consuming.

 

TO CITE THE SOURCES OF DATA

Scientists
refer to the biochemical literature to point out what other work or research
has been done on a research topic ,to cite sources of data that they use and to
show how their interpretations integrate with the published knowledge based on
science .Without biochemical literature , we could never know about the true
pioneers of a research or when was that particular research published.
Biochemical literature provides us with the citations or sources of original
data. References are specially given at the end of the research paper or any
thesis which basically are citations. Each citation is given a specific number
which makes it easy to locate a reference.

 

COMPARISON OF VARIOUS TOPICS

Biochemical
literature helps us compare and contrast two different or various different
topics in the field of biochemistry. Also it helps us compare what we are doing
in the historical context of research as well as how our research is different
or original from what others have done , helping us rationalize why we need to
do this particular research if we are doing any. By comparison we get to know
about other research topics alongside our own.

 

ANALYSES OF BIOCHEMICAL LITERATURE

Analyses
of the biochemical literature shows which journals now contribute most to the
subject and provide a guidance for librarians within a limited budget. The
journals or papers which are too old are frequently recycled and replenished
with new ones.