Primary and secondary research
To evaluate your sources means to consider your sources in order to make a judgement about them. In determining the appropriateness of a resource, it may be helpful to determine whether it is primary research or secondary research.
Primary research presents original research methods or findings for the first time.
- A journal article, book, or other publication that presents new findings and new theories, usually with the data
- A newspaper account written by a journalist who was present at the event he or she is describing is a primary source (an eye-witness, first-hand account), and may also be primary "research".
A secondary research does not present new research but rather provides a compilation or evaluation of previously presented material.
- A scientific article summarizing research or data, such as in Scientific American, Discover, Annual Review of Genetics, or Bioglogical Reviews
- An encyclopedia entry and entries in most other Reference books
- A textbook