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Nursing Information Literacy Tutorial

What's a Primary Source?


A primary source in science is a document or record that reports on a study, experiment, trial or research project. Primary sources are usually written by the person(s) who did the research, conducted the study, or ran the experiment, and include hypothesis, methodology, and results.

Primary Sources include:

  • Pilot/prospective studies
  • Survey research
  • Case studies
  • Lab notebooks
  • Clinical trials and randomized clinical trials
  • Dissertations