A primary source is a document or record which reports a study, experiment, event or other phenomenon firsthand. When a nurse researcher interviews patients about their health behaviors, a pharmaceutical company conducts clinical trials on a new drug, or a health care facility surveys its nursing staff, they are creating primary information.
Primary sources are usually written by the person(s) who did the research, conducted the study, ran the experiment, or witnessed the event. Primary sources are detailed first reports of the results of this original research.
Look for the following elements when deciding whether a journal article is a primary source reporting the results of original research:
For topics in the Nursing/Medical field, a secondary source might be an article written about a procedure and then evidence described about its effects. The Primary source would be an article written about the procedure written by the person who developed the procedure
What Types of Articles/Studies are Primary?
A medical example: A medical doctor creates an artificial leg for war veterans and writes up a document describing this. That document would be a primary source. If a scholar then writes about this artificial leg, the usefulness, how patients are responding in therapy, etc…. this would be a secondary source type article.
Cheshyre,R. (2007, August 25). Alive and Kicking. Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/3667495/Alive-and-kicking.html