Watch the following video (2:26min) for a quick overview of the differences between primary and secondary sources:
See examples of primary and secondary sources below and test your knowledge with UVic Libraries primary vs. secondary sources tutorial:
"Scholarly" or "popular" are terms used to describe a source's content, purpose, audience, appearance, citations and more. Popular sources are useful for getting ideas for a topic or for background and anecdotal information. Typically, however, you should support your arguments by citing scholarly articles, which contain original research written by experts and do not contain glossy pages or advertisements.
Many article databases such as Business Source Complete allow you to limit your results to scholarly sources.
|Scholarly sources:||Popular sources:|
Watch the following video (2:59min) for a quick overview:
Watch the following video (2:45min) to learn how the peer-review process works and how to find peer-review sources:
Test your knowledge with UVic Libraries scholarly vs. popular tutorial:
Trade and professional publications:
Publications such as magazines, journals, newspapers, blog articles and white papers that are written for a particular professional or trade/industry audience are considered trade publications.
These resources focus on trends, forecast, and issues of interest to people working in a specific industry or profession. For this reason trade publications can be of particular use to business researchers. Like popular media sources published for a general audience, trade publications can include news, current events, statistics, advertisements, editorials, notices of events, and reports.
Find trade publications in various databases including:
News is sometimes our only source of external information about a small or private company. News or interviews with CEOs can provide really current and up to date information about a company’s performance, products, problems, actions, and strategy. It can also be a good source for the most current industry trends, projections, overall economic conditions, and social factors. Depending on your geography or topic, searching across news databases may help you update your research.
See the following guides for business news and other popular sources and how to search across the library's news databases:
Beyond the library there are numerous websites which may provide additional information that is useful for your research.
Quality sources are often buried, use targeted Google searches and look out for content from governments (trade and statistical agencies), international organizations, regulatory agencies, trade associations, professional research/consulting firms etc.
With any resource, be sure to approach it with a critical eye, and consider: