ICT and Information

Primary Sources of Information: what is primary sources of information?

Primary sources of information are the first published records of original research and development of description of new application or new interpretation of an old theme or ideas. These constitute the latest available information. A researcher producing new information can make it available to the particular community through the primary sources. Often, it may be the only sources of information in existence.
Primary sources are unorganized sources, which are rather difficult to use by themselves. The secondary sources help us to use this. These are important sources of information. a subject becomes a discipline in its own right when independent primary sources to be produced in that area. The rate of growth of a discipline to a large extent depends upon the amount of literature being produced in the form of primary sources reporting developments in the concerned field.
The Primary Sources of Information are important in research. This aid the researchers to:
  • a. Keep themselves up-to-date and well informed of the new developments,
  • b. Avoid duplication in research, and
  • c. Help others to build on this by means of further work and thus generate more information.
Primary sources are published in a variety of forms. Normally, these take the form of a journal articles, research monograph, research report, patent, dissertation etc. Some of these may be unpublished.
Primary sources have following kinds of documents:
a. Books: All books are not treated as primary sources. Only such books are known as primary sources which have new thoughts. Example: Five Laws of Library Science.
b. Periodicals: Only such periodicals are known as primary sources which have fundamental and new information generated and reports. Periodicals are generally weekly, fortnightly, quarterly, monthly, half-yearly, yearly, etc. Periodicals includes magazines, bulletins, reports, reviews, articles, research reviews.
c. Patents: When a person invents a new technique, product formula, he needs his monopoly and keeps his rights with him. Government approves such monopoly as patent. Therefore, patent is an authority letter of the Government which gives all rights of using such invention to the inventor.
Patent is a primary source. It gives detailed report and description about the invention. Such patents are published in Government Gazette.
d. Standards: Standards are such documents in which some specifications of a particular product or service are standardized by the Government such as quality and quantity of industrial products, size, kinds, process, working and terminology rules and regulations. Standards are very important and useful for consumers as they purchase or consume such products with faith and belief. Generally standards are the handbook or bulletin which represents details of the items approved by the “Bureau of Indian Standards,” New Delhi.
Standards may be categorized as under:
  • (a) Quality standards,
  • (b) Evaluation standards,
  • (c) Terminology standards,
  • (d) Weights and measures standards.

 

e. Research monograph: It is a report published on a fundamental research which may produce the principles and fundamentals applied by the author before the research. Such monographs are very useful for guidance of research work.

f. Research reports: Research and development information’s are published for highlighting them. Such reports provide necessary information regarding researches being done in the same subjects. Information’s in research reports are more effective and fundamentally important. These reports are very useful in modern time when researches are being done in good number and such reports have been useful as media of communication, extension and expansion.

g. Conference proceedings: Conference proceedings are such articles which are presented in National and International conferences and seminars and they are proved as a source of information. All such articles are related to new researches and investigations. They include conclusions and results and fact-finding which are published or mentioned in research projects beforehand to their publication in periodicals.

h. Theses: These documents are fundamental work in a specific subject. Universities award Ph.D. degree on their approval or authenticity examined by the subject experts.

Theses are also published by the researches or the institutions which highlight techniques, methods, procedures and principles for others’ guidance. But most of the theses are not published and hence their benefits do not reach the society.

i. Unpublished sources: There are many unpublished sources among the primary sources which are very useful for information. These are letters, portraits, coins, memoranda, engraving pieces, and other hand-written bulletin and handbook, company files which are of fundamental importance and prove useful for consumers and researchers. .


Reference Book: Sharma, C. K. (2006). Reference Service and Sources. Atlantic Publishers & Dist.

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Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

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