A primary source is a firsthand account of information by an individual close to the topic.
In health sciences specifically, a primary source is a document, mainly a peer-reviewed journal article, which reports a study, experiment, or event firsthand. Primary sources detail original research and are usually written by the individuals who performed the research or conducted the study.
Primary study designs:
- Case Study
- Case Series
- Pilot Study
- Cross-Sectionals or Survey
- Clinical Trial
- Randomized Clinical Trial
How do you locate primary sources in library databases?
PubMed - Use the "Article Type" filter and limit your search results to primary study designs. Note: You may need to choose Additional Filters first in order to get specific study designs to display under the Article Type.
EBSCO Databases - Some databases, such as CINAHL and MEDLINE, will allow you to limit to the study design in the advanced search.
Otherwise, read through the article's method section to find out the design of the study.