Question Video: Determining Whether Data Is Primary or Secondary Mathematics

A student is writing a report about satellites. He uses a science magazine as a reference to know about the topic. Is he using a primary or a secondary source?

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Video Transcript

A student is writing a report about satellites. He uses a science magazine as a reference to know about the topic. Is he using a primary or a secondary source?

Let’s begin by recalling the two different types of data sources. Primary data is new information that is collected and organized directly by the researcher. Secondary data is public or existing information that is collected and organized by others. We are told here that the student uses a science magazine. The student has not conducted any experiments or gathered any data on the satellites himself. Instead, he is simply using information from the magazine that was collected and organized by someone else. Therefore, we can give the answer that the student is using a secondary data source.

Of course, if studying something like satellites, it wouldn’t be very practical or possible for a single student to carry out an experiment about satellites. However, some good primary data sources in this case might have included data from scientific or space-related organizations or publicly available data for satellites in each country. A science magazine, however, would be a secondary data source.

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