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Archaeology: Know your sources

Types of sources

Primary:       original information;  eg. correspondence, diaries, research.
Secondary:  interprets primary information, eg. scholarly journals, books. This is where research is reported.
Tertiary:      interprets secondary information, eg. reference books, encyclopedias
Use for background information
Reference sources: overview of topic eg. encyclopedias, in print or electronic.
Books:                     analysis of topic, in depth background information.
Journal articles:       focus on specific subject.
Grey literature:        governments, organizations, think tanks – not publishers.
Web pages:             eg. government webpages such as