Primary sources are first-hand accounts at the time of an event
e.g. news reports, podcasts, diaries, census and statistics.
Secondary sources are second-hand accounts of an event or topic
e.g. journal articles, textbooks, newspaper articles and books.
Tertiary sources combine primary and secondary sources
e.g. fact books, almanacs, dictionaries and encyclopaedias.
A database is an online collection of electronic journal and newspaper articles, research papers and much more. Most databases offer Advanced Search functions, so you can use your search strategy.
You will find peer-reviewed and scholarly journal articles in databases.
Because it is easy for anyone to publish anything on a website, you need to find websites that contain reliable information.
Websites with these domains (the URL ending) generally have reliable information:
- .org (a registered organisation)
- .edu (an educational institution)
- .gov (a government agency)
- .gov.au (an Australian government agency)
Websites with .com or .net. are not unreliable, but they should be used with caution.
In Google's Advanced Search, you can limit your searches by domain.
You still need to evaluate any information you find (see Step 5) no matter what source you use.