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Primary And Secondary Research – The Ultimate Differentiating Guide

By Laura Brown on 20th August 2020

The basic difference between primary and secondary research is the mode of data collection. In primary research, the data is collected directly from the sources by using methods such as surveys, interviews, experiments, etc. On the other hand in secondary research, the existing data from books, articles, reports, etc is being analysed for particular needs.

We will surely delve into details, but before that let’s have a look at some amazing stats.

According to a study, there are more than 1.3 million research scholars currently in the UK involved in different academic processes. If you are planning to join the researcher’s community, it is important to decide which approach is more suitable for your upcoming project. But first, you need to know the exact differences between primary and secondary research.

What Is Primary And Secondary Research?

Generally, there are two kinds one is primary research, and the other is secondary research. Both are commonly used methodologies by researchers to guide their projects. Read on to learn more about each methodology in detail.

The Ultimate Guide About Primary Research & Secondary Research

What Is Primary Research?

The systematic process of investigation and study of materials is known as research on the necessary grounds. The method of analysis aims at getting the answers to questions by applying several procedures. But the problem that mostly confuses the students is thinking about what is the difference between primary and secondary research?

The word ‘Primary’ indicates ‘first and foremost’, and when the word primary is linked with research, it means exploration of details in depth.

Primary research is understood as the type which involves gathering and collecting new data, for example, when the facts about a particular subject are collected for the first time. It is also done and conducted for unique and specific purposes.

What Is Secondary Research?

Methods involving the analysis, interpretation and summarisation of facts already collected can be termed secondary research methods.

The main element that separates both is the approach of how they are being conducted. If researchers conduct surveys, interviews, etc., to collect some data, it is known as primary research, and if they use already published material to gather data, then it is termed secondary research.

The difference between primary and secondary research methods can easily be understood if we understand the difference between primary and secondary data in research. Both the researches include collecting information and facts, though

The Key Difference: Primary And Secondary Research

The most significant factor for both the research is primary data and secondary data. Let’s have a look at some key differences on the basis of data and other factors.

Primary Research Secondary Research
It is conducted to gather immediate and first-hand information and facts. It involves the use of already published information.
Focuses on collecting raw material from the sources. Prior collected information is being analysed, interpreted, and studied for further conclusions.
Here, the study material is collected either by the analyst himself or by the third-party representative hired It is conducted based on research done by other analysts.
The researcher works and collects the data focusing on specific needs and in a particular area as per the requirement. It lacks particularity. To be more precise, the data collected may or may not be as per the requirements.
It covers the topic profoundly and is really a deep process and involves several steps. It is a fast process, and it seems quite achievable which aims at gaining a broad understanding of the subject. You can collect a large amount of data and do filtration to get the best for your use.
It is an expensive process as it utilises more resources. It is an economical method of analysis, which is low in cost just because the survey has already been conducted and does not need to go for acquiring information on the basic level.
It is time-consuming as it is done from scratch. You have no data initially on the particular topic, and you have to collect it all from various sources in the beginning. Here, the research has already been done, and the analyst needs to acquire the required information from the collected data. Hence, it is comparatively less challenging than primary research.
It includes original documents prepared by the researcher, news reporter or journalist reporting the event or scene, surveyor conducting the survey, interviewer, debater, etc. Sometimes bloggers also go for primary research depending upon the content they are creating. Let’s understand it with an example. If a blogger writes on ‘7 most shocking rules exist in schools around the world‘, one needs to go on secondary methods because you’ll get a huge amount of detail available on the internet.
It normally includes surveys, interviews, observations, ethnography, etc. It involves the study of already published statistical analysis, literature reviews, case studies, content, etc.
Some real examples of primary data are letters, diaries, minutes, photographs, artefacts, interviews, sound or video recordings, etc. It includes collecting information from documentaries, articles, journals, publications, dissertations, reviews, etc. It may also include information from history, critics, reviews, commentaries, encyclopaedias, textbooks, etc.

We hope that these primary and secondary research examples and instances will help you understand the facts on a better note.

What’s Next Now?

Now you know primary and secondary research tools, along with the difference between thesis and dissertation and which approach suits the best. It’s time to start working on your actual project. If you don’t have enough time to do it on your own, consult Crowd Writer UK experts, a reliable platform to avail assignment writing service.

Concluding It For Primary Research And Secondary Research

The quality of primary research is up to the mark, it is expensive, and it consumes a lot of time. Whereas secondary research is not too expensive, and the collection of study material is possible.

Both the research having secondary and primary data have their pros and cons. They are being chosen considering the needs and requirements of the study. Therefore, primary research is termed need-specific and secondary research is commonly practised. If you need more details on primary and secondary research, talk to the customer service representatives at Crowd Writer.


  • https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/phd-percentage-by-country
  • https://research.com/research/primary-research-vs-secondary-research
  • https://fitchburgstate.libguides.com/c.php?g=839397&p=5996314
  • https://study.com/academy/lesson/primary-secondary-research-definition-differences-methods.html
  • https://resources.nu.edu/researchprocess/primaryandsecondary
  • https://sixthformstudyskills.ncl.ac.uk/doing-research/primary-secondary-research/
  • https://post.parliament.uk/study-designs-secondary-research/
Author Bio:
Laura Brown

Laura Brown, a senior content writer who writes actionable blogs at Crowd Writer.