Primary Research Vs Secondary Research – Top Key Differences You Should Know


Whether you are making a research plan to conduct a market survey, identifying the causative agent of an emerging disease, or want to suggest new strategies for effective second language learning in the preschool, you must know about the two types main of research. Of course, two main types of research design include a qualitative method of research and a quantitative one. But this classification is based on the type of data collected for analysis to reach the end results. However, there is another way to classify the methods of research, and that is based on the method of collection of data; that is, the primary method of data collection as well as the secondary method of data collection. Additionally, the qualitative method of research can be conducted by both primary and secondary methods of research. The same is true for the quantitative method of research as well. This is only an overview of types of research irrespective of any specific discipline; however, this article will provide more information about the differences between primary research and secondary research methods.

Primary research- A brief introduction:

Let’s understand primary research by presenting a simple case instead of reviewing typical definitions such as ‘first-hand method of data collection’. Suppose you are an extrovert type of person and love to do adventures, even in research, and you decide to go to visit the participants to collect valuable information on your own. It simply means you are planning to solve the scientific query by directly being involved in the data collection phase of research, which is called the primary research method. It can be conducted by collecting both qualitative as well as quantitative data, but as the nature of the data varies, the tools and techniques require for analysing it also changes. Furthermore, methods that are ideal for collecting primary qualitative methods include observations, questionnaires, interviews, and focused groups. In contrast, if only closed-ended questions are involved in questionnaires, interviews, and focused groups, then the same techniques can gather quantitative data for your research. Additionally, experiments are the most sought-after primary research method used in life sciences studies. The selection of primary research method is indeed tricky, at least for beginners, but to make it easier, you can seek help from Dissertation writers UK.

Secondary research- A brief introduction:

Secondary research, as the name signifies, is the method of data collection from secondary sources of information. Secondary sources include already published data in scholarly articles, magazines, scientific journals, official news, and the institution’s website. If you quote data by using the exact words of a famous personality or cite any political event, this method of research will also be called the secondary method of research. The only authentic method to collect the secondary data is by reviewing the original source of information and citing it properly. Like in primary research method selection, the master dissertation help is equally important for selecting a secondary method of research.

Though the above-mentioned brief introduction of the primary and secondary methods of research has cleared many distinguishing features between the two, still given below are a few more differences for developing a better understanding.

Primary research v secondary research:

The basic difference between the primary and secondary methods of data collection is that one asks researchers to get fully indulged in the data collection process, and the other allows researchers to believe on what others have done and reported. Both types of methods have their own importance in research. However, the following are some other factors distinguishing these two methods of research.

  1. The primary method of research is an expensive method as it takes you far off places to collect data. At the same time, the secondary method allows you to conduct the research even within the comfort of your own home.
  2. The former helps the researcher to confidently report what has been analysed through thorough research. In contrast, the authenticity of the latter one’s results can easily be challenged.
  3. The geographical constraints affect the primary method of research the most as compared to the secondary method of research. The secondary method helps increase the generalizability of research.
  4. The biasness and data fabrication can easily be controlled in the primary method of research; however, the results’ fabrication and biasness in secondary research are not as much under the control of the secondary researcher.

Final Thoughts:

After all is said and done, it can be concluded that secondary research gives researchers benefits in one way and the primary research method in another way. Thus, if someone asks about which one is more authentic, you must answer it will be the goals of your research that prioritise one over the other.