Secondary data in research consists of several sources. Sometimes primary data cannot be obtained or it becomes difficult to obtain primary data, in such cases the researcher is bound to use secondary data. The reliability, authenticity and generalizability of secondary data is less as compared to primary data as it has been already manipulated and used by other people. Obtaining primary data requires more human and non-human resources like time, money and energy, therefore in some studies researchers consider secondary data much better and feasible.
Published Data is the most basic secondary source of information for data collection. Published data can be obtained from various sources like books, magazines, newspapers, journals and periodicals etc. Published data is the most reliable secondary source of information. The validity of published data is greater than unpublished data.
The majority of published records can be obtained from libraries and archives. Libraries carry a vast variety of books, journals and periodicals. You can use this information as a reference in your thesis, dissertation or other research articles. Periodicals and journals provide up to date information and they are also available in libraries. In social sciences and humanities newspapers can also be used to get references. Newspaper are an excellent source of data collection historical research. Some record cannot be obtained from any other source except newspaper as it does not exist in books and journals. Old newspapers record can be obtained from the archives. In published data books are easier to use as data are arranged in order in books while newspapers are difficult to use because in newspapers there is no list of contents or bibliography.
Personnel records can also be very useful in research if data is unavailable in published from. Some personal sources like letters and diaries are invaluable assets. Letters and diaries can have a personal bias as they are written by human beings and they contain personal judgement. The chances of bias should be eliminated before using these sources for references.
Electronic Data like movies, documentaries and television programs can also be sued for recording data in secondary research. In the social sciences and humanities it can be a good source of information.
Government Records are available in the form of government surveys, tax records, census data and other statistical reports. They are easily available and widely used in research studies.
Public Sector Records are available in NGOs as well as some other public sector organization keeps records. These records can be published or unpublished but they carry information that cannot be obtained from other sources.
Internet in today’s world is the fastest growing source of information. The internet has become mature and today you can get any information from the internet. Most of the books are available on the internet in e-book format. You can get information while staying at home. The information can be obtained faster than you can obtain from any other source. On the internet you can get e-books, e-journals, e-periodicals and e-magazines. The internet is a multiple source of information as all of the above mentioned sources can be obtained from the internet. Most recent and most up to date information can be obtained from the internet as it won’t be available in books and other forms. Getting information from the internet is inexpensive as compared to other sources. You can get membership of different periodicals, sometimes this membership is free otherwise you have to pay a small amount of money.