"The term evidence-based practice refers to an approach in which current, high-quality research evidence is integrated with practitioner expertise and client preferences and values into the process of making clinical decisions."
- ASHA Position Statement: Evidence-Based Practice in Communication Disorders
This guide is intended to help you find evidence for your projects and research papers at the Institute. If you have additional questions, please Ask a Librarian for further assistance.
Tips for Searching
In the health and social sciences, most often a primary source is a report of the results of an experiment or research study. The most common source format these take are published articles found in scholarly journals or conference papers.
Why Choose Primary Sources
Primary Sources represent the best evidence to support an argument. When you examine a primary source, you get to see all of the relevant information about the study as well as the authors' interpretation of the results of that study. You can then come to your own conclusions about the significance, relevance, and meaning of those results as they apply to your topics of interest. If instead you rely on the interpretations of another author, say from a literature review or other secondary source, you can run into trouble, because their point of view might cloud their interpretations and could lead you astray. Therefore, when you can, you will want to select primary sources to cite in your papers and other academic work.
Identifying Primary Sources
However, not everything published in a scholarly journal or presented at a conference will be a primary source. Here are some things to look for.