As a university student, you are expected to use credible sources in your assessments and course work. A credible source is one that is written by someone who is an expert in their discipline and is free of errors and bias. This guide explains the difference between credible, scholarly and peer-reviewed sources.
Primary, secondary and tertiary resources provide different types of information. A brief overview is below.
Primary sources are first-hand accounts at the time of an event, and items that communicate original research, thought or opinion.
e.g. original research articles, literary works, podcasts, diaries, census and statistics.
Secondary sources are second-hand accounts of an event or topic. They provide analysis, discussion or review of primary materials.
e.g. journal articles (e.g. review articles), newspaper articles and books.
Tertiary sources combine primary and secondary sources. They have often been condensed and rewritten in a more explanatory form.
e.g. textbooks, fact books, almanacs, dictionaries and encyclopaedias.