Primary and Secondary Resources

Primary Journal is a scholarly journal devoted to disseminating the results of original research in the field(s) or discipline(s) it covers (example: Journal of Experimental Psychology). Most primary journals are peer-reviewed.

Primary Sources

In scholarship, a document or record containing firsthand information or original data on a topic, used in preparing a derivative work. Primary sources include original manuscripts, periodical articles reporting original research or thought, diaries, memoirs, letters, journals, photographs, drawings, posters, film footage, sheet music, songs, interviews, government documents, public records, eyewitness accounts, newspaper clippings, etc. The History Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) within the American Library Association ( ALA ) provides a guide to Using Primary Sources on the Web .

Secondary Sources

Any published or unpublished work that is one step removed from the original source, usually describing, summarizing, analyzing, evaluating, derived from, or based on primary source materials, for example, a review, critical analysis, second-person account, or biographical or historical study. Also refers to material other than primary sources used in the preparation of a written work. (From: Dictionary for Library and Information Science by Joan M. Reitz. Copyright 2004. Reproduced with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport , CT. )