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Equine Business Management Guide

This guide will provide resources and assistance to students majoring in Equine Business Management within the Equine Science Department.

Primary & Secondary Sources Explained

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:

  • Problem and Purpose
  • Significance
  • literature review or synthesis of the theory and other research relevant to the topic being studied
  • a description of the population or sample in the study;human subjects
  • an outline of methodology;
  • Interventions
  • Sample
  • Instruments
  • data collection
  • data analysis
  • a report of results and a discussion of their significance; implications
  • conclusions
  • From

Primary sources

  • Are those which were written during the period in which the information occurred
  • Primary sources are not necessarily the sources you primarily use, but they are the most fundamental information on the topic
  • Published at the time the event occurred, by someone in the actual event
  • For historical events, a primary source on Abraham Lincoln would be either one written by Lincoln (such as the Gettysburg Address) or by someone who knew Lincoln. They could be documents or artifacts created during the time period

Secondary sources

  • Are those reviews and accounts written AFTER an event occurred
  • Secondary sources analyze and interpret primary sources and are used primarily for presenting the views of others about your primary sources
  • For historical events, a secondary source on Abraham Lincoln could be a book, magazine article, or internet site written after his death
  • 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 are Primary Research?

 What Types of Articles/Studies are Primary?

  • pilot/prospective studies
  • cohort studies
  • term projects
  • survey research
  • case studies
  • qualitative studies (participant observation, interviews, surveys)
  • experimental research (randomized clinical trials/RCTs)
  • double blind method
  • systematic reviews of the above

Medical Example

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