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Math 200

What is Primary Research

Primary Research Sources are:

  • Researchers reporting first-hand about their new research
  • Includes some Journal articles and some Books (or chapters in books)


Primary research articles describe an original experiment or original analysis that adds to current knowledge about a particular topic. 

Typically, Primary journal articles include:

  • Abstract/Summary
  • Introduction 
  • Methods/Methods & Materials 
  • Results 
  • Discussion 
  • Conclusion 


Read the Abstract/Summary & Methods or Methods and Materials Section as a quick check to see if an article may be primary, if the researchers describe their new research it is a primary article.


Secondary Sources summarize, analyze or report the work of other researchers.