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Test your skill in identifying primary and secondary sources

Read the following scenarios and answer the questions after each.

Scenario 1. Part A. A nurse conducts an experiment on whether spirituality helps people cope at the end of life. The findings are published in a journal focused on end-of-life care.
Is the journal article a primary or secondary source?

Scenario 1. Part B. Upon publication of the nurse's article, it is read by a newspaper columnist who in turn writes a short article to describe the nurse’s research findings.
Is the newspaper article a primary or secondary source?

Scenario 2. Part A. A historian conducts research into the popularity of herbal remedies during the 18th century. In order to conduct research, the historian looks at newspapers from the 18th century to find out whether there were many advertisements for herbal therapies.
Are the newspaper advertisements a primary or secondary source?

Scenario 2. Part B. Through the research process, the historian determines that during the 18th century, many herbal therapies were marketed to cure ill-temper. The historian publishes his/her findings as a journal article.
Is the journal aticle a primary or secondary source?

Scenario 3. A researcher reviews all previously published material on the topic of placebo effectiveness for pain relief. The researcher writes a journal article that summarizes all previous research.
Is the journal article (known as a review article because it reviews all previously published work) a primary or secondary source?

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