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Welcome to the Walter M. Bortz III Library: Documenting Sources

Documenting Sources

Writing an Annotated Bibliography?

Primary v. Secondary Sources

Primary Source:

"An original source, such as a speech, a diary, a novel, a legislative bill, a laboratory study, a field research report, or an eyewitness account. While not necessarily more reliable than a secondary source, a primary source has the advantage of being closely related to the information it conveys and as such is often considered essential for research, particularly in history. In the sciences, reports of new research written by the scientists who conducted it are considered primary sources."

From: Hacker, D., & Fister, B. (2006). Research and documentation in the electronic age. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's.

Primary v. Secondary in the Sciences

  • Primary and Secondary Sources for Science - University at Albany
    • This webpage includes two helpful charts listing the differences between primary and secondary sources in the sciences, and providing two lists of examples of each type of source.

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