Primary Sources in the Social Sciences – Original Research


The Research Guide has been discontinued.  Please use the UI&U Library Tutorial

Faculty members: please contact a librarian if you need assistance updating your research assignments.


In the social sciences primary sources may be statistics from the U.S. Census, election polls, a government law, or scholarly articles that present the findings of original research.

Using the library’s OneSearch and Google Scholar@UI&U tools can help you find articles that report original research as well as track down primary sources in an article’s references.

Recognizing a primary source article

To help identify original research articles look for terms like Methods or Methodology, Results (usually followed by tables or statistics), and Discussion in the database record, article abstract, or article itself.

Information in the article record can also help you determine whether the article presents original research.