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Astronomy & Astrophysics Research (UNH - Durham)

Defining Types of Sources

Knowing what type of material you're looking for will be key in your research.  To help you determine which sources are best for your research at the moment, please consider the following definitions.

Primary Source - original material/research.  Typically, this material represents the first formal appearance of results.

             EXAMPLES: research articles in journals or conference proceedings; research reports; original books or treatises

Secondary Source - these are once-removed from primary sources.  Typically, this material summarizes and interprets the results presented in primary materials.  Secondary sources may provide examples of results or evidence, but their main role is to bring together and discuss evidence presented in primary sources.

             EXAMPLES: textbooks, review articles in journals, encyclopedias

Tertiary Source - material that collects and distills information from primary and secondary sources.

             EXAMPLES: index/abstract databases, guidebooks, collections of data, chronologies, directories

Each of the recommended electronic resources listed on this page has an information icon next to its name.  Hover your mouse over these icons to find out what kind of source each item is.

Select Secondary Print Sources

The following items can all be found in the Physics Library.  Please click on each title to see catalog information.

Select Tertiary Print Sources

Select Electronic Resources

These Astronomy & Astrophysics resources are available online through the UNH Library: