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Library Hours

Library CLOSED until further notice

View entire Academic Year.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Limited Access

Beginning Monday, March 23, Hoover Library will be CLOSED until further notice. Virtual reference services (use the "ASK US" or "CHAT" button) will be available from 1 PM - 9 PM Sunday, 9 AM - 9 PM Monday-Thursday, and 9 AM - 4 PM Friday. Hours are subject to change at any time. Please see our Hours page for current building availability. For more information, see the McDaniel College COVID-19 Information Page
Faculty: Please see our COVID-19 Library Access
Students: Please see our COVID-19 Student Access page.

RSM 550 - Introduction to Research Methodology: Primary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources in the Sciences: Original Research or Reviews?

Primary sources convey first-hand experience of the event or time period you’re studying.

Secondary sources convey the experiences of others, or “second-hand” information; they often synthesize a collection of primary sources.

In the Sciences:

Primary (Research articles) =

Original scientific research; experiment or study conducted by author; actual rather than interpretive.

  • Clues within the article:
    • Read the abstract.  Look for phrases such as "we tested" or "we measured"
    • Methods section
    • Results section
    • Discussion section
    • Charts, statistical tables, etc.

Secondary (Review articles) =

Compilation, discussion, analysis, or criticism of scientific research by others;analyzes and interprets.