Secondary sources interpret or analyze those primary sources.
Primary sources that describe original research, clinical trials for example, will be published as peer-reviewed journal articles.
Introduction Whether conducting research in the social sciences, humanities (especially history), arts, or natural sciences, the ability to distinguish between primary and secondary source material is essential.
Basically, this distinction illustrates the degree to which the author of a piece is removed from the actual event being described, informing the reader as to whether the author is reporting impressions first hand (or is first to record these immediately following an event), or conveying the experiences and opinions of others—that is, second hand. Primary sources These are contemporary accounts of an event, written by someone who experienced or witnessed the event in question.
When searching the biomedical literature, you will find two main categories of articles: Primary and Secondary.
Primary sources include articles that describe original research.
Joseph Sabin’s Bibliotheca Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America from Its Discovery to the Present Time has been heralded as a cornerstone in the study of the history of the Western Hemisphere.
Gale’s Sabin Americana, 1500-1926 takes the works currently captured from that bibliography and makes them available online.
Secondary source materials, then, interpret, assign value to, conjecture upon, and draw conclusions about the events reported in primary sources.
These are usually in the form of published works such as journal articles or books, but may include radio or television documentaries, or conference proceedings. Defining questions When evaluating primary or secondary sources, the following questions might be asked to help ascertain the nature and value of material being considered: Ultimately, all source materials of whatever type must be assessed critically and even the most scrupulous and thorough work is viewed through the eyes of the writer/interpreter.