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A research guide for University of Maryland GEMSTONE Team OYSTERS

Primary Sources in the Sciences/Social Sciences

  • Report original research, ideas, or scientific discoveries for the first time
  • Report results/findings/data from experiments or research studies
  • May also be referred to as primary research, primary articles, or research studies
  • Frequently found in peer-reviewed or scholarly journals
  • Should explain the research methodology used (randomized controlled trial, etc)
  • Frequently include methods, results, and discussion sections
  • Are factual, not interpretive

Secondary Sources in the Sciences/Social Sciences

  • Literature reviews
  • Meta-analyses that discuss the significance of several research studies or experiments
  • Systematic reviews of the results of several experiments or trials
  • Analysis of a clinical trial
  • Letters to the editor
  • Book reviews
  • Editorials