Primary sources are original, uninterpreted information. Scholars analyze primary sources in order to answer research questions. Examples of primary sources vary by discipline.
Examples in the humanities:
Examples in the social sciences:
Example in the sciences:
In secondary sources, authors analyze and interpret primary source materials.
Secondary sources can be scholarly or popular. Scholarly sources (sometimes called "academic" or "peer-reviewed" sources) are written by and for experts and typically include bibliographies and citations. Popular sources are written for a general, non-expert audience and can be authored by anyone.
Primary sources in psychology are original materials based on first-hand accounts of research conducted by the author(s). They are usually written at the time the research is occurring or shortly after the research is complete, and they present new information or discoveries.
Primary sources in psychology:
Used with permission from Andrea J. Kueter, Social Sciences Liaison Librarian, University of Puget Sound.
To locate research articles in psychology, we recommend the Advanced search options from the tabbed search box. [A link to the Advanced search options is provided below.]
The image below is a screen shot of the Advanced search options with a topic term [addiction] in the first search field and the parameters [study or research or empirical or data or method or experiment] in the second search field.
You also have the option to limit your results to Scholarly [Peer Reviewed] Journals. Please note that although empirical studies are published in peer-reviewed journals, not every article in a peer-reviewed journal reports empirical research studies.
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, 'empirical' research is "1. derived from or denoting experimentation or systematic observations as the basis for conclusion or determination, as opposed to speculative, theoretical, or exclusively reason-based approaches. 2. based on experience."
Refers to the process that a scholarly book or journal article goes through when an author's research and writing is evaluated by experts in their discipline or field. In the case of a journal article, peers review articles to determine if they'll be accepted and published in a specific journal. In the case of psychology journals, expert peers are evaluating and checking the accuracy and originality of the research being reported.