The definition for these types of sources changes based on the discipline being studied. In science and the social sciences, research articles are considered primary sources. In history, a much wider range of sources are included, such as personal papers including diaries, journals, and personal correspondence; photographs, and newspaper accounts at the time of a specific event.
For this topic, since we will not have first-hand accounts, we view primary source material as original scientific research by anthropologists, primatologists, ethnologists, geneticists, etc. Primary sources are put into context by means of secondary sources.
Secondary source material interprets or describes the research being conducted and draws conclusions about the events reported and can illustrate how scientific understanding has changed over time, or provide the necessary social or cultural context. Thus, an experiment that is described by someone other than the researcher(s) would be considered a secondary source. Accounts found in newspapers, radio, and television about research findings would be considered secondary sources. In this context you will find short pieces from academics, science writers, and journalists who report on the the scientific results.
Search Tip: Peer-reviewed journals may also contain items that are not peer reviewed, such as letters to the editor, opinion pieces, and book reviews. Even if you check the peer review limiter box, you still need to examine the items carefully to be sure they are articles.
Try Primo, our new discovery interface - where you can locate physical resources, directly access electronic resources, and place requests across our collections.
Mind the scopes - scopes are searchable domains...the default scope is to search everything, books, articles and more. "everything" combines the library catalog (mostly books) and e-resources (mostly articles).
Selected Databases: Use the Browse Databases A-Z or Primo (discovers what you won't find in Google. It searches across many subscription databases and the library catalog simultaneously.)
If using EBSCOhost - select the Choose Databases link at the top if the screen and select multiple subject databases that are relevant to your topic.
Some of these journal articles are primary sources, some secondary sources (when illustrating how scientific understanding has changed over time, or providing the social or cultural context), and some both . Remember to use the Schaffer Library Journal Search for accurate holdings to full-text.