In the Sciences, primary sources are documents that provide full description of the original research. For example, a primary source would be a journal article where scientists describe their research on the human immune system. A secondary source would be an article commenting or analyzing the scientists' research on the human immune system
|Original materials that have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation by a second party.
|Sources that contain commentary on or a discussion about a primary source.
|TIMING OF PUBLICATION CYCLE
|Primary sources tend to come first in the publication cycle.
|Secondary sources tend to come second in the publication cycle.
|FORMATS--depends on the kind of analysis being conducted.
|Conference papers, dissertations, interviews, laboratory notebooks, patents, a study reported in a journal article, a survey reported in a journal article, and technical reports.
|Review articles, magazine articles, and books
|Example: Scientists studying Genetically Modified Foods.
|Article in scholarly journal reporting research and methodology.
|Articles analyzing and commenting on the results of original research; books doing the same
Examples of Primary and Secondary Sources
Source: The Evolution of Scientific Information (from Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, vol. 26).