Skip to Main Content

Research Guides@Tufts

Digital Storytelling

What are Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Sources?

Primary sources report the results of original research, ideas, or first-hand experiences. Examples: a research article, an interview, data collected about an issue, or a government policy document. 

  • Note: Primary research articles will have "methods" and "results" sections. 

Secondary sources provide a summary, commentary, or analysis of the original ideas/research/experiences. Examples: books, a news story reporting on the results of scholarly research, or a review article.

Tertiary sources summarize ideas from multiple primary and secondary sources. They provide background information about topics and can often be a place to find other sources. Examples: encyclopedias, manuals, dictionaries.

Finding Research Articles

Research articles provide evidence to back up the claims you're making! Some examples of search engines where you can find this research include:


  • Contains the full-text of primary & secondary sources in all subject areas
  • Once you've done your search, select Articles under Resource Type on the left side of the page

Google Scholar

  • Contains primary & secondary journal articles in all subject areas
  • You can get the full-text of the articles by going to Settings -> Library Links and searching for Tufts University. This will add a "Find @ Tufts" button to your results!

Web of Science

  • Web of Science contains primrary & secondary journal articles, mostly in STEM fields

Finding News

News sources can help strengthen your video by providing you with examples of real world implications and case studies/examples. Some places to search for full-text news articles include:


  • Once you've done your search, select Newspaper Articles under Resource Type on the left side of the page


  • Enter keywords into the search box at the top of the page
  • Before you do your search, look down below to where it says Region and drill down to your geography of interest to find local news

Boston Globe‚Äč