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Primary and Secondary Sources

This guide will explain what primary and secondary sources are and how to find them.

Communication Disorders

Examples for Communication Disorders: 

Primary Source: A scholarly article that reviews various key studies on the relationship of music to brain function.

Phipps, Marion A., Diane L. Carroll, and Anastasia Tsiantoulas. “Music as a Therapeutic Intervention on an Inpatient Neuroscience Unit.” Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 16 (2010): 138–142.

Secondary Source: An ABC news report on Representative Gabrielle Gifford relearning words with the help of music.

Moisse, Katie. “Gabby Giffords: Finding Words Through Song.” ABC, Nov. 14, 2011.

Health and Movement Science

Example for Health and Movement Science: 

Primary Source: Scholarly journal article reporting the results of a survey done of injuries reported by female soccer players

Schiff, Melissa A., et al.  “Soccer Injuries in Female Youth Players: Comparison of Injury Surveillance by Certified Athletic Trainers and Internet.” Journal of Athletic Training 45 (2010): 238-242.

Secondary Source: In-depth report about injuries in college sports

Sander, Libby. An Epidemic of Injuries Plagues College Athletes. The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 9, 2011, online.


Example for Nursing: 

Primary Source: A research survey that was conducted to explore scheduling and fatigue among nurses.

Trinkoff, Alison M., at al. “Nurses’ Work Schedule Characteristics, Nurse Staffing, and Patient Mortality.” Nursing Research 60 (2011): 1-8.

Secondary Source: An article from the Wall Street Journal about the study.

“When Nurses Catch Compassion Fatigue, Patients Suffer.” The Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2012.

Public Health

Example for Public Health:

Primary Source: A research study showing how the brain responds to high fat foods.

Johnson, Paul M. and Paul H. Kenny. “Dopamine D2 receptors in addiction-like reward dysfunction and compulsive eating in obese rats.” Nature Neuroscience 13 (2010): 635-641.

Secondary Source: A blog post about the study.

Greviskes, Amber. “Fast Food As Addictive As Heroin, Study Confirms.”, March 30, 2010.

Recreation, Leisure, and Sports Management

Example for Recreation, Leisure, and Sports Management: 

Primary Source: A scholarly article reporting on research  on the impacts of horseback riding on children with autism.

Bass, MM, CA Duchowny, and MM Llabre. "The effect of therapeutic horseback riding on social functioning in children with autism." Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders 39, no. 9 (2009): 1261-1267.

Secondary Source: An article on a blog about research being done at an equine therapy facility.

"Research May Provide Support for Horse Therapy.” Animal Health Foundation Blog, December 27, 2012. 

Social Work

Example for Social Work:

Primary Source: Scholarly research article measuring the impacts of the 1990's welfare reforms.

H. Luke Shaefer and Marci Ybarra. “The welfare reforms of the 1990s and the stratification of material well-being among low-income households with children.” Children and Youth Services Review 34 (2012): 1810–1817.

Secondary Source: A policy statement from the National Association of Social Workers.

“Welfare Reforms Have Hurt Poorest Americans.”, 9/14/2012.