Search results extend back to 1970. A brief guide to evaluating primary internet resources with excellent examples of specific documents and image files. The use of secondary data helps researchers conserve resources such as time and money that the collection of primary data demands. Examples: court cases, newspaper articles about current events. By Susan Thomas, Evening and Weekend Librarian sthomas bmcc. If you have a bibliography of primary sources, then the Web of Science can be used to find secondary sources that cite a specified primary source. Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources.
Because it has been filtered through many reviewers, it tends to consist of highly reliable and accurate information, plus contain broad perspectives of topics. Census Statistics Book about suburban population changes in U. Bibliographies don't always come at the end of a paper- many are independent works of their own, full of recommended sources on any given topic. Your guide to the History of Science at Harvard. In terms of evaluations of documents and texts, secondary sources offer unique perspectives like historians have on the impact of bills such as the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights in the U. Includes links to libraries and other institutions with digitized primary resources. Examples could be news, textbooks, documentaries, magazines, newspaper, books, radio, blogs and encyclopedia entries.
Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. Other sources of secondary data are structured interviews, transcripts from focus groups, published texts, literature reviews and observation records. Examples of secondary data are research reports, government reports, censuses, weather reports, interviews, the Internet, reference books, organizational reports and accounting documents. These sources were present during an experience or time period and offer an inside view of a particular event. It is one step removed from the original or primary source. Use tertiary sources for a general overview of your topic and for background information for your research.
Use secondary sources to see what others have discussed. Art: Works by artists such as Pablo Picasso's painting, Three Musicians; or Michelangelo's sculpture, David Social Sciences: Interview transcripts of mentally ill patients; raw, analyzed population data; newspaper articles about events. They can be a good place to gather background information on a topic. A directory of over 5,000 websites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the advanced research scholar. If you find an older article or book in a bibliography, you can use the in find more recent articles by seeing who has cited it. It also offers a browse of the Isis Cumulative Bibliographies 1913-1975. Browsable collections include Africana, American Radicalism, Applied and Life Sciences, and History and Social Sciences.
Primary sources may be published or unpublished works. They tend to be original documents that don't usually describe or analyze work by others. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence. Because secondary sources are published works, they will list their sources of information which can be used to located additional information for your research. You must have a record that says: Indexed for Medline to do this.
The information is compiled and digested into factual representation, so that it does not obviously reflect points of view, critiques or persuasions. Generally, they are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. You can also use secondary sources to explore what subtopics have already been explored on a given topic. Some, therefore, argue that secondary data is neither better or worse than primary sources — it's simply different. Don't forget that are excellent resources! They summarize, evaluate, and analytically interpret primary material, often by offering a personal perspective. Use primary sources when you want to make claims or criticisms, as evidence for theories, or to gain timely perspectives on a topic.
Tertiary sources are typically the last to be published in the information cycle. In addition, one can ask follow-up questions for clarification, something that is practically impossible when using most secondary data. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. There may already be a detailed list of sources, a bibliography, for your topic. In addition, databases that keep information about the public, such as electoral statistics, registers, social security and housing information, are secondary sources. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1993, 253 pp. By understanding the unique characteristics and features of each, you will be able to identify them and maximize their potential use, and ultimately help you become a more effective researcher and communicate your work to others.
Secondary sources may contain pictures, quotes or graphics of primary sources. Tertiary sources consist of information which is a distillation and collection of primary and secondary sources. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information. Records written and kept by individuals such as diaries and journals and accessed by other people are also regarded as secondary sources. One major benefit of using secondary data is that it has already been reviewed by authorities and suitably used elsewhere. They even differ between subjects and disciplines, particularly between the sciences and humanities.
Look for specialized subject bibliographies search, e. Some social sciences material is included. A secondary source interprets and analyzes primary sources. It has more extensive lists of resources and tools than this introductory guide does. Posted on 2012-02-09 13:01:33 A primary source is a document or physical object which was written or created during the time under study.