Secondary sources of data collection

How to Collect Data Using Secondary Sources in Research

There are primary, secondary and tertiary sources of data collection in research. Primary sources of data collection have always been used because of their greater authenticity and reliability. Secondary sources of data collection are used when primary sources are not available. In some cases primary sources are available but due to time or other constraints the researcher is forced to use the secondary sources in his research. While primary sources of data collection include first-hand sources, secondary sources present data that has been presented elsewhere before. They have been analyzed, interpreted and used to draw conclusion in one or several other researches. However, it does not mean that secondary sources does not present invalid or unauthentic data. Secondary sources of data collection are as much useful in research as primary sources of data collection.

Types of secondary sources


There can be various forms of publications that can be used as a source in collecting data. This is one of the most appropriate source of data collection. Histories Literary criticism Books Newspaper Journals Magazines Previous researches

Personal records

Letters Diaries Biographies

Audio and visual materials

Art reviews Theater reviews

Government records

Census data

Archival material

Histories Other historical information

Benefits of using Secondary sources of information


Availability Secondary sources of information are readily available as compared to primary sources. In many cases where primary sources are not available secondary sources make research possible.
Research budget With primary sources sometimes the budget rises and the researcher cannot afford high budget. Secondary sources need less effort and other resources to collect data.
Time and other resources Time is always a constraint in research and it is necessary to complete the research on time. Secondary sources need less time to collect data.


Problems in using secondary sources of information

Source bias Secondary sources of information are conveniently available but they present other problems. The most basic problem is the source bias. Secondary sources do not present first-hand information and, therefore there is a problem of source bias.
Reliability Reliability is also questionable in the use of secondary source of data collection. For example, you want to use a literary criticism in a literature research but that literary criticism is written by someone else and there can be a bias in it.
Validity Sometimes the source of data collection in secondary research is too old and it is not valid to use such an old data.



Check Also

APA In-Text Citation in Research Paper

The APA in-text citation follows the author-date system of citation. This means that the researcher …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please Answer *