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AT Independent Science Research: Intro

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*Off campus access requires "Meadows Discovery Search" username and password found in our Google document, "2024-25 Off Campus Database Passwords." Searches will include search results from EBSCO's database, MEDLINE Complete if relevant.

Where can I find a topic?

Primary vs. Secondary vs. Tertiary Sources

Examples of Primary vs. Secondary Sources


           Description                                  Primary Source                                      Secondary Source

Example: Scientists Studying Industrial Fertilizer

Article in scholarly journal publishing results of testing for fertilizer levels.

Newspaper editorial calling for regulations on use of industrial fertilizer.

Example of Types of Sources

  • Conference Papers
  • Correspondence
  • Dissertations
  • Diaries
  • Interviews
  • Lab Notebooks
  • Notes
  • Patents
  • Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Article
  • Conference or Society Proceedings
  • Studies or Surveys
  • Technical Reports
  • Theses


  • Criticism and Interpretation
  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedias
  • Government Policy
  • Guide to Literature
  • Handbooks
  • Law and Legislation
  • Publications discussing Moral, Ethical or Political Aspects
  • Publications Analysizing Public Response or Opinion
  • Review Articles



From University of Puget Sound's Collins Library Subject Guide for Chemistry