Skip Nav

Online Guide to Writing and Research

This article is a part of the guide:

❶Conducting research today requires that you understand how to locate resources—in libraries and frequently online—and that you have the skill and motivation to work with librarians and library technology. Original research can take a number of forms, depending on the discipline it pertains to.

Related Words

Navigation menu
Three Types of Resources
A Scientific Review

It is the first step in critically evaluating your source of information. Determining what makes a journal scholarly is not a clear-cut process, but there are many indicators which can help you.

A note about "peer review. Sometimes the term "refereed" is used instead of peer review. The McQuade Library has many online periodical databases which contain scholarly journal articles.

If you have found an article and are not sure if it is scholarly or not you can find out by consulting the following books located in the Reference Room:. LaGuardia, Cheryl, Magazines for Libraries, 12 th ed.

The information contained in this brochure was adapted from Working with Faculty to Design Undergraduate Information Literacy Programs: Search this Guide Search. Secondary Sources Scholarly vs. Patricia Leavy addresses eight arts-based research ABR genres: Research is often conducted using the hourglass model structure of research. The major steps in conducting research are: The steps generally represent the overall process; however, they should be viewed as an ever-changing iterative process rather than a fixed set of steps.

Often, a literature review is conducted in a given subject area before a research question is identified. A gap in the current literature, as identified by a researcher, then engenders a research question.

The research question may be parallel to the hypothesis. The hypothesis is the supposition to be tested. The researcher s collects data to test the hypothesis.

The researcher s then analyzes and interprets the data via a variety of statistical methods, engaging in what is known as empirical research. The results of the data analysis in rejecting or failing to reject the null hypothesis are then reported and evaluated. At the end, the researcher may discuss avenues for further research.

However, some researchers advocate for the reverse approach: The reverse approach is justified by the transactional nature of the research endeavor where research inquiry, research questions, research method, relevant research literature, and so on are not fully known until the findings have fully emerged and been interpreted.

Rudolph Rummel says, " It is only when a range of tests are consistent over many kinds of data, researchers, and methods can one have confidence in the results.

Plato in Meno talks about an inherent difficulty, if not a paradox, of doing research that can be paraphrased in the following way, "If you know what you're searching for, why do you search for it?! The goal of the research process is to produce new knowledge or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. This process takes three main forms although, as previously discussed, the boundaries between them may be obscure:. There are two major types of empirical research design: Researchers choose qualitative or quantitative methods according to the nature of the research topic they want to investigate and the research questions they aim to answer:.

Social media posts are used for qualitative research. The quantitative data collection methods rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories.

If the research question is about people, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments this is the only way that a quantitative study can be considered a true experiment. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants.

In either qualitative or quantitative research, the researcher s may collect primary or secondary data. Primary data is data collected specifically for the research, such as through interviews or questionnaires.

Secondary data is data that already exists, such as census data, which can be re-used for the research. It is good ethical research practice to use secondary data wherever possible. For example, a researcher may choose to conduct a qualitative study and follow it up with a quantitative study to gain additional insights. Big data has brought big impacts on research methods so that now many researchers do not put much effort into data collection; furthermore, methods to analyze easily available huge amounts of data have also been developed.

Non-empirical theoretical research is an approach that involves the development of theory as opposed to using observation and experimentation. As such, non-empirical research seeks solutions to problems using existing knowledge as its source.

This, however, does not mean that new ideas and innovations cannot be found within the pool of existing and established knowledge. Non-empirical research is not an absolute alternative to empirical research because they may be used together to strengthen a research approach. Neither one is less effective than the other since they have their particular purpose in science.

Typically empirical research produces observations that need to be explained; then theoretical research tries to explain them, and in so doing generates empirically testable hypotheses; these hypotheses are then tested empirically, giving more observations that may need further explanation; and so on.

A simple example of a non-empirical task is the prototyping of a new drug using a differentiated application of existing knowledge; another is the development of a business process in the form of a flow chart and texts where all the ingredients are from established knowledge. Much of cosmological research is theoretical in nature. Mathematics research does not rely on externally available data; rather, it seeks to prove theorems about mathematical objects.

Research ethics involves the application of fundamental ethical principles to a variety of topics involving research, including scientific research. These principles include deontology , consequentialism , virtue ethics and value ethics. Ethical issues may arise in the design and implementation of research involving human experimentation or animal experimentation , such as: Research ethics is most developed as a concept in medical research. The key agreement here is the Declaration of Helsinki.

The Nuremberg Code is a former agreement, but with many still important notes. Research in the social sciences presents a different set of issues than those in medical research [44] and can involve issues of researcher and participant safety, empowerment and access to justice.

When research involves human subjects, obtaining informed consent from them is essential. In many disciplines, Western methods of conducting research are predominant. The increasing participation of indigenous peoples as researchers has brought increased attention to the lacuna in culturally-sensitive methods of data collection. Non-Western methods of data collection may not be the most accurate or relevant for research on non-Western societies.

Periphery scholars face the challenges of exclusion and linguicism in research and academic publication. As the great majority of mainstream academic journals are written in English, multilingual periphery scholars often must translate their work to be accepted to elite Western-dominated journals.

Peer review is a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field. Peer review methods are employed to maintain standards of quality, improve performance, and provide credibility. In academia, scholarly peer review is often used to determine an academic paper's suitability for publication. Usually, the peer review process involves experts in the same field who are consulted by editors to give a review of the scholarly works produced by a colleague of theirs from an unbiased and impartial point of view, and this is usually done free of charge.

The tradition of peer reviews being done for free has however brought many pitfalls which are also indicative of why most peer reviewers decline many invitations to review. The open access movement assumes that all information generally deemed useful should be free and belongs to a "public domain", that of "humanity". For instance, most indigenous communities consider that access to certain information proper to the group should be determined by relationships.

There is alleged to be a double standard in the Western knowledge system. On the one hand, "digital right management" used to restrict access to personal information on social networking platforms is celebrated as a protection of privacy, while simultaneously when similar functions are utilised by cultural groups i.

Even though Western dominance seems to be prominent in research, some scholars, such as Simon Marginson, argue for "the need [for] a plural university world".

This could be due to changes in funding for research both in the East and the West. Focussed on emphasizing educational achievement, East Asian cultures, mainly in China and South Korea, have encouraged the increase of funding for research expansion.

In several national and private academic systems, the professionalisation of research has resulted in formal job titles. In present-day Russia, the former Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet states the term researcher Russian: The term is also sometimes translated as research fellow , research associate , etc.

Academic publishing is a system that is necessary for academic scholars to peer review the work and make it available for a wider audience. The system varies widely by field and is also always changing, if often slowly. Most academic work is published in journal article or book form.

Tertiary sources are typically the last to be published in the information cycle. Because it has been filtered through many reviewers, it tends to consist of highly reliable and accurate information, plus contain broad perspectives of topics. Use tertiary sources for a general overview of your topic and for background information for your research. Encyclopedias, directories, dictionaries, handbooks, guides, classification, chronology, and other fact books.

You might find that resources provided by your library can be really helpful, and you can access many of these resources online through your library's website. Don't forget that our librarians are excellent resources!

Search this Guide Search. Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Sources This guide outlines the differences between primary, secondary and tertiary sources of information. Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Literature Sources of information are often considered primary, secondary, or tertiary depending on their originality and proximity of when it was created.

Letters, diaries, speeches, interviews, correspondence History: Textbooks, monographs books , encyclopedias, analysis, review articles, dissertations, thesis, History: Literary critiques such as an article that examines Cervantes' writing style ; paper discussing motifs in The Metamorphosis Art: Lecture given about Michelangelo's techniques ; Criticism or review of Picasso's painting Social Sciences: Dec 7,

Contact a Librarian

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

to give or trace the source for: The research paper was not accurately sourced. The statement was sourced to the secretary of state. to find or acquire a source, especially a supplier, for: Some of the components are now sourced in Hong Kong.

Privacy FAQs

Secondary sources are those that describe or analyze primary sources, including: reference materials – dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and books and articles that interpret, review, or sythesize original research/fieldwork.

About Our Ads

Video: Academic Sources: Definition & Examples Find out what academic sources are and what to look for if you're required to use them for research papers and essays. Complete the lesson, and take. TERTIARY SOURCES DEFINED. Tertiary Sources are distillations and collections of primary and secondary sources. The information is compiled and digested into factual representation, so that it does not obviously reflect points of view, critiques or persuasions. Tertiary sources are typically the last to be published in the information .

Cookie Info

In the Sciences, primary sources are documents that provide full description of the original research. For example, a primary source would be a journal article where scientists describe their research on the human immune system. The strict definition of scientific research (i.e. the scientific method) is performing a methodical study in order to prove or disprove a hypothesis, or answer a specific question. But to arrive at that hypothesis takes some understanding of what .