Answered By: Corrie Bott
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2015     Views: 16

Dear Flor,

Primary resources are original materials which have not been filtered through interpretation, have not been summarized or evaluated. It includes documents such as letters, diaries, court records, interviews, surveys, historical documents, and works of literature or art.

An original research articles in which a scientist, for example, is writing about work that he or she has completed and is published in a peer-reviewed journals is also a considered a primary resource. 

By contrast, a secondary resource describes or analyzes the primary source and has more of a refining or summarizing nature. Secondary sources include books or articles about political issues, historical events, scientific debates, or literary works. Also, reports, findings, or summaries of other researchers on a topic. Secondary sources may be scholarly.

A scholarly article appears in peer-reviewed, scholoarly journals. These are written by professionals and experts and are intended for scholars, students, or specialists in the discipline. 

Popular articles, by contrast, generally appear in magazines and trade publications and are usually written by journalists or other non-specialists. These magazines are more likely to have colorful advertisements. Non scholarly articles are usually shorter and broader in scope and generally to not have full citations or a list of references. 

I hope this helps you! Please feel free to call the Information Commons Desk for additional help at 805-493-3250. You can also make an appointment with an information specialist. 

Best Regards,

Madelynn Dickerson
Information Specialist
Pearson Library

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