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Primary sources are evidence that was created at a time under study. They include printed, manuscript/archival, audio/visual, and born-digital materials. When analyzing a primary source, it’s important to consider who the intended audience might have been. For example, a letter could have been sent to an individual reader; a newspaper article would have been intended for a broader audience.
Note for research in the sciences: Primary sources in the sciences are forms of documentation of original research. This could be a conference paper, presentation, journal article, lab notebook, dissertation, or patent.
Secondary sources are scholarly or other analyses of a primary source, created by a person not directly involved with the time period or event being studied.
Note for research in the sciences: Secondary sources in the sciences are publications that comment or analyze original research. This could be a handbook, monograph, public opinion, encyclopedia, or government or public policy.
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