Answered By: Woodruff Library Last Updated: Feb 19, 2015 Views: 467
|Primary Sources Defined
*This material is used with permission from the University of Pittsburgh Library's research guide on Primary Sources
Primary Sources by Discipline
The definition of a primary source varies depending upon the academic discipline and the context in which it is used.
1. In the humanities, a primary source could be defined as something that was created either during the time period being studied or afterward by individuals reflecting on their involvement in the events of that time.
Examples from the humanities:
2. In the social sciences, the definition of a primary source would be expanded to include numerical data that has been gathered to analyze relationships between people, events, and their environment.
Examples from the social sciences:
3. In the natural sciences, a primary source could be defined as a report of original findings or ideas. These sources often appear in the form of research articles with sections on methods and results.
Examples in the natural sciences:
*This material is used with permission from the Lafayette College Library research guide on primary sources.
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