Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Sources

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Brief overview of different types of information sources emphasizing primary vs. secondary vs. tertiary sources for an information literacy course.

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Primary/Secondary/Tertiary Sources

  1. 1. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Sources
  2. 2. How do you tell?• Primary sources are the original data. – If they are direct copy of the original data, then it is still a primary source.• Secondary sources change, analyze, edit, or other build on other sources.• Tertiary sources summarize stuff that was said in primary & secondary sources.
  3. 3. Primary Sources• Photograph by Ansel Adams of the Yosemite National Park.• Negative date 1941, print date 1980
  4. 4. Secondary Source• Now here’s a paragraph about the picture: – “The moon hovers bright against a dark yet strangely transparent cosmos. The sidelight that hits the rock mass highlights the unevenness of the surface, while at the same time creating a graphic and relief style expression. The cliff in the foreground is like a black silhouette; the shadow is also black. Considering the grandeur of the motif, the actual dimensions of the image are surprisingly modest – the monumental impact seems to be more dependent on proportions rather than the actual size.” From: http://www.hasselbladfoundation.org/moon-and-half-dome/
  5. 5. Secondary Source• Ask yourself: – Are they drawing a new conclusion? – Are they doing new analysis? – Are they building knowledge?
  6. 6. Tertiary Source• A tertiary source gathers all the analysis that people have done on Ansel Adams photographs to make one over-arching statement: – “Ansel Adamss work is an extensive record of what is still left of the wilderness, the shrinking untouched part of the natural environment.”
  7. 7. Tertiary Secondary Primary Video of Republican National Primary Daily Show segment where Jon Stewart shows that a candidate contradicted themselves Newsweek interview Future encyclopedia with a Republican article about the 2012 candidate presidential raceFuture meaning 2020 or Biography about Obama’s birth certificatelater, after academia/ President Obamathe general public havecome to a consensusabout the election
  8. 8. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary? http://rs16.loc.gov/service/afc/afc 1986022/ms4403/0002v.jpg
  9. 9. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?
  10. 10. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?
  11. 11. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?• http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/afccchtml/co wsonek.html
  12. 12. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?
  13. 13. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?• http://memory.loc.gov/cgi- bin/query/r?ammem/cowell:@FIELD(SOURCE +@band(afccc+@1(cor3-2))):@@@$REF$
  14. 14. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?
  15. 15. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?
  16. 16. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?• http://memory.loc.gov/afc/afcts/audio/413/4 133a1.mp3
  17. 17. Primary, Secondary, or Tertiary?

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