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- Primary Data VS Secondary Data
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- Difference Between Primary and Secondary Data
Primary sources of data collection have their advantages such as addressing specific research problems and applications in data management and storage. On the other hand, secondary data gathering has also a range of benefits, best practices, and important meaning in the marketing and data world.
Primary Data VS Secondary Data
Published on June 20, by Raimo Streefkerk. Revised on February 16, Primary sources provide raw information and first-hand evidence. Examples include interview transcripts, statistical data, and works of art. A primary source gives you direct access to the subject of your research. Secondary sources provide second-hand information and commentary from other researchers.
Examples include journal articles, reviews, and academic books. A secondary source describes, interprets, or synthesizes primary sources. Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but good research uses both primary and secondary sources.
Table of contents What is a primary source? What is a secondary source? Primary and secondary source examples How to tell if a source is primary or secondary Primary vs secondary sources: which is better? Frequently asked questions about primary and secondary sources.
A primary source is anything that gives you direct evidence about the people, events, or phenomena that you are researching. Primary sources will usually be the main objects of your analysis. If you are researching the past, you cannot directly access it yourself, so you need primary sources that were produced at the time by participants or witnesses e.
If you are researching something current, your primary sources can either be qualitative or quantitative data that you collect yourself e. A secondary source is anything that describes, interprets, evaluates, or analyzes information from primary sources.
Common examples include:. Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words and awkward phrasing. See editing example.
A secondary source can become a primary source depending on your research question. If the person, context, or technique that produced the source is the main focus of your research, it becomes a primary source. If you are researching the causes of World War II, a recent documentary about the war is a secondary source. But if you are researching the filmmaking techniques used in historical documentaries, the documentary is a primary source.
If your paper is about the novels of Toni Morrison, a magazine review of one of her novels is a secondary source. But if your aim is to analyze media coverage of economic issues, the newspaper article is a primary source.
To determine if something can be used as a primary or secondary source in your research, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself:.
Most research uses both primary and secondary sources. They complement each other to help you build a convincing argument. Primary sources are more credible as evidence, but secondary sources show how your work relates to existing research. Secondary sources are good for gaining a full overview of your topic and understanding how other researchers have approached it.
They often synthesize a large number of primary sources that would be difficult and time-consuming to gather by yourself. They allow you to:. When you conduct a literature review , you can consult secondary sources to gain a thorough overview of your topic. If you want to mention a paper or study that you find cited in a secondary source, seek out the original source and cite it directly.
Remember that all primary and secondary sources must be correctly cited to avoid plagiarism. Common examples of primary sources include interview transcripts , photographs, novels, paintings, films, historical documents, and official statistics. Anything you directly analyze or use as first-hand evidence can be a primary source, including qualitative or quantitative data that you collected yourself. Common examples of secondary sources include academic books, journal articles , reviews, essays , and textbooks.
Anything that summarizes, evaluates or interprets primary sources can be a secondary source. Some types of source are nearly always primary: works of art and literature, raw statistical data, official documents and records, and personal communications e. If you use one of these in your research, it is probably a primary source. Always make sure to properly cite your sources to avoid plagiarism.
A fictional movie is usually a primary source. A documentary can be either primary or secondary depending on the context. If you are directly analyzing some aspect of the movie itself — for example, the cinematography, narrative techniques, or social context — the movie is a primary source. If you use the movie for background information or analysis about your topic — for example, to learn about a historical event or a scientific discovery — the movie is a secondary source.
Articles in newspapers and magazines can be primary or secondary depending on the focus of your research. In historical studies, old articles are used as primary sources that give direct evidence about the time period. In social and communication studies, articles are used as primary sources to analyze language and social relations for example, by conducting content analysis or discourse analysis. If you are not analyzing the article itself, but only using it for background information or facts about your topic, then the article is a secondary source.
Thanks for reading! Hope you found this article helpful. Say goodbye to inaccurate citations! Have a language expert improve your writing. Check your paper for plagiarism in 10 minutes. Do the check. Generate your APA citations for free! APA Citation Generator. Home Knowledge Base Citing sources Primary and secondary sources. Primary and secondary sources Published on June 20, by Raimo Streefkerk. When you do research, you have to gather information and evidence from a variety of sources.
What can proofreading do for your paper? Documentaries If you are researching the causes of World War II, a recent documentary about the war is a secondary source. Reviews and essays If your paper is about the novels of Toni Morrison, a magazine review of one of her novels is a secondary source. What are some examples of primary sources? What are some examples of secondary sources?
How can you tell if a source is primary or secondary? Does the source provide original information primary , or does it summarize information from other sources secondary? Are you directly analyzing the source itself primary , or only using it for background information secondary?
Is a movie a primary or secondary source? Is a newspaper article a primary or secondary source? Is this article helpful? Raimo Streefkerk Raimo is an expert in explaining plagiarism and citing sources. He has been writing helpful articles since and is continuously improving Scribbr's Citation Generators. Other students also liked. How to avoid plagiarism When you use words, ideas, or information from a source, you need to properly credit the author.
Follow these steps to avoid plagiarism. Each citation style has different rules for in-text citation. How to quote in academic writing When you quote a source, you have to intoduce the quote, enclose the quote in quotation marks, and correctly cite the original author s.
Still have questions? Please click the checkbox on the left to verify that you are a not a bot. Learn more. Letters and diaries Photographs and video footage Official documents and records Physical objects. Novels and poems Paintings and art installations Films and performances. Interview transcripts Recordings of speeches Newspapers and magazines Social media posts.
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In a time when data is becoming easily accessible to researchers all over the world, the practicality of utilizing secondary data for research is becoming more prevalent, same as its questionable authenticity when compared with primary data. These 2 types of data, when considered for research is a double-edged sword because it can equally make a research project as well as it can mar it. In a nutshell, primary data and secondary data both have their advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, when carrying out research, it is left for the researcher to weigh these factors and choose the better one. It is therefore important for one to study the similarities and differences between these data types so as to make proper decisions when choosing a better data type for research work. Primary data is the kind of data that is collected directly from the data source without going through any existing sources.
Data collection plays a very crucial role in the statistical analysis. In research, there are different methods used to gather information, all of which fall into two categories, i. As the name suggests, primary data is one which is collected for the first time by the researcher while secondary data is the data already collected or produced by others. There are many differences between primary and secondary data, which are discussed in this article. But the most important difference is that primary data is factual and original whereas secondary data is just the analysis and interpretation of the primary data. While primary data is collected with an aim for getting solution to the problem at hand, secondary data is collected for other purposes.
Difference Between Primary and Secondary Data
The column covered over 35 common research terms used in the health and social sciences. The complete collection of defined terms is available online or in a guide that can be downloaded from the website. What does each and every research project need to get results? Data — or information — to help answer questions, understand a specific issue or test a hypothesis. This data they collect is called primary data.
The distinction between primary, secondary and tertiary sources hinges on how far from the original event or phenomenon the information source is created. Is it first-hand knowledge? A second-hand interpretation? A third-hand synthesis and summary of what is known?
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