Annotated Bibliography of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources
Van, R. J., Meyer, V., & Sebranek, P. (2011). The research writer. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin.
According to Van, Meyer, & Sebranek (2011) primary research/source brings a researcher into a direct contact with the materials or information as related to the topic of the study. Engaging primary sources is the engagement with “firsthand information, rather than information that has already been interpreted or analyzed by someone else and then presented from another person’s perspective”’ (Van, Meyer, & Sebranek, 2011, p. 105).
Primary sources can include the already published or gathered primary information. Generating own information can involve some strategies, including interviews, observations, experiments, and questionnaires among others. The book provides some example on how one can access information from the primary sources, which include the search in the libraries, archives, laboratories, internet, and a field study (Van, Meyer, & Sebranek, 2011, p. 105). It also provides a guideline on how to effectively gather information from the primary sources. The book recommends three steps, which include planning, selection of the appropriate method and effective information, as well as data collection.
Nargundkar, R. (2004). Marketing research: Text and cases. New Delhi: Tata McGra-Hill.
The author avers that a researcher can use primary or secondly sources of information and data because the choices depend on the nature of the research and the topic under investigation. In areas such as marketing research, a lot of current data and information would be required, and hence the primary sources are appropriate in this instance. Nargundkar (2004) defines primary research/sources as “research that involves collecting information specifically for the study on hand, from the actual sources” (Nargundkar, 2004, p. 14). For example, in marketing, the primary foundations of data and information include customers, dealers, or other sources directly concerned with the issue under investigation. The book is resourceful because it provides additional information about the advantages and disadvantages of primary and secondary resources. In addition, information about ethical considerations while undertaking the primary research is provided to guide the researchers who are using the method. In fact, it provides the an effective and the acceptable practices, which must be adopted.
Mangal, S. K. (2013). Research methodology in behavioral sciences. Rutgers Univ. Press.
Mangal (2013) defines secondary sources as “the sources whose information belongs to the past and has no direct physical relationship with the event or topic under the study” (Mangal, 2013, p. 62). The researcher using the secondary sources does not encounter with the individual who participated or who was an eyewitness to the event of concern to the current research. In this aspect, the research is considered more reliable and accurate when primary sources are available. However, in case the primary source is not available, the researcher resolves to use the secondary sources. According to the Mangal (2013), the secondary sources may include the collections of data recorded or a description provided by a person who is not an original researcher, but obtained from other sources. However, the book provides a list of commonly used secondary sources, including the quoted materials, textbooks, newspapers, and journals among others.
Burns, N., & Grove, S. K. (2010). Understanding Nursing Research: Building an Evidence-Based Practice. London: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Burns & Grove (2010, p. 192) state “a secondary source summarizes or quotes the content from primary sources.” The authors of secondary sources paraphrase the literature from the original researchers and theorists. Consequently, they compile a common point of view on a particular issue or topic of the study. In addition, the authors state that the perception or the aspect of biases can affect the interpretation of the researcher using the secondary sources. The problem, in this case, is that the secondary sources can be misleading due to the changes in meaning. They are largely used when primary sources of data or information cannot be accessed. In addition, they are considered and applied in cases where researchers are not in a position to use the primary sources due to limitations in time and resources.
Rys, J, Meyer, V, & Sebranek, P, (2011). The Research Writer. Boston, MA. Cengage Learning.
Both the primary and secondly sources are commonly used in research, particularly when undertaking an academic study. However, some sources are regarded as tertiary because they are third-hand in nature. Rys, Meyer, & Sebranek (2011, p. 36) define tertiary sources as “reports of reports.” Researchers or writers of tertiary sources compile their thoughts based on the readings made from the secondary sources. Under those premises, they are regarded as the tertiary sources of information. The examples provided by the authors include articles written in popular magazines and information provided in Wikipedia. Evidently, the authors caution researchers not to use such sources to complete and conclude their research because they lack authenticity and they are not scholarly. It is advisable that a researcher should use sources to narrow the topic and gather the general idea before consulting the secondly and tertiary sources.
Rys, Meyer, & Sebranek (2011) commend tertiary sources because they are readily accessible and easy to read. The example provided, in this case, is the Wikipedia, which is usually among the first ten options used by researchers when undertaking a web-search. The main weaknesses in tertiary sources are that they are prone to errors, distortion, oversimplifications, and their facts cannot be backed or substantiated by reliable data. However, this is not the case with the secondary and primary sources. Therefore, it is under those premises that make the tertiary sources unreliable and weak for academic studies.
VanderMey, R., Meyer, V., Van, R. J., & Sebranek, P. (2014). The college writer: A guide to thinking, writing, and researching. Australia. Wadsworth.
The authors define tertiary sources as “the reports of reports” (VanderMey et al., p. 403). The definition is similar to that of Rys, Meyer, & Sebranek (2011), a situation that makes it acceptable and reliable. In fact, researchers of the tertiary foundations consult only the secondly sources when compiling their information. Later, they present the information in their words using their selected options. For instance, when writing a project about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice using online discussions and Wikipedia, then the entire research can be regarded as a tertiary source.
The authors are of the opinion that tertiary sources are easy to find, access and read, which is a similar opinion to Rys, Meyer, & Sebranek (2011). However, a researcher is required to take caution while using tertiary sources because they are weak regarding their quality of the subject matter and are liable to errors and distortions, which alter the original information. Therefore, they are inappropriate for academic research and on sensitive matters sensitive. However, they can offer guidance before undertaking research from more reliable sources.