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Basically, there are three types of information sources:
- Primary Sources: Original materials on which other research is based
- Original written works, such as poems, diaries, court records, interviews, surveys, and original research/fieldwork
- Research published in scholarly/academic journals
- Secondary Sources: Describe or analyze primary sources
- Reference materials, such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks
- Books and articles that interpret, review, or synthesize original research/fieldwork
- Tertiary Sources: Used to organize and locate secondary and primary sources
- Indexes provide citations that fully identify a work with information such as author, titles of a book, article and/or journal, publisher and publication date, volume and issue number and page numbers
- Abstracts summarize the primary or secondary sources
- Databases are online indexes that usually include abstracts for each primary or secondary resource, and may also include a digital copy of the resource.
~ Mary Woodley, SCUN Oviat Library
TUTORIAL: PRIMARY, SECONDARY & TERTIARY SOURCES