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Difference between Primary and secondary research while writing dissertation

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Difference between Primary and secondary research while writing dissertation

What is primary research?

Primary research refers to studies that have involved gathering unique data relevant to a given study project. When conducting primary research, the researchers collect data directly from sources rather than relying on material that is already available in databases and other publications.

Primary research is also known as original research because it is frequently conducted with the intention of generating new information.

Types of primary research:

  • Interviews:
    Interviews are a practical method for gathering data from single subjects or small groups of people. Interviews are a useful tool for researchers who want to gain expert advice on a certain topic.
  • Observation:
    Observation is the main research technique used here. It entails seeing people, events, and other variables crucial to the investigation or study. Observation includes measuring and writing down quantitative or qualitative data.
  • Data analysis:
    Data collection and organization according to the researcher’s criteria are necessary for data analysis. Finding trends or patterns in data is a helpful application of this main research technique.

The pros of using primary research while writing a dissertation

  • The fundamental advantage of primary research and secondary research is that the researcher may directly collect data from respondents, which makes the data more authentic and accurate.
  • Customization of primary research is possibly based on the researcher’s personal needs and/or restrictions.
  • Primary research allows for a thorough examination of the topic matter in order to address the issue at hand.
  • The researchers will have the freedom to choose how to collect and use the data, which means they will be able to use the data in whichever way they think is appropriate to gain significant insights.
  • The findings of primary research are widely accepted in academic and scientific circles.

The Cons of Using Primary research while Writing a Dissertation

There is a high cost involved in gathering primary data. Students do not have a sufficient budget to fund their own research work.

Primary research can take a very long time. It takes patience and a lot of time to convince your target audience to take part in online surveys and telephone or in-person interviews. This is crucial for undergraduate and graduate students, who have strict deadlines for finishing and submitting their work.

Primary research is only recognized when it employs a variety of data collection methods. Using only one major research approach will make your findings invalid. More time and money will be required if you use multiple data collection methods.

What is Secondary Research?

Secondary research is research that has already been conducted and gathered by someone else. Secondary research methods include using secondary sources of information such as journal articles, published reports, public libraries, and books, data available on the internet, government publications, and outcomes from previous primary research investigations.

Sources of secondary research

  • Academic peer-reviewed journals:
    These are commonly published original studies undertaken by the authors or researchers themselves.
  • Published books and articles:
    Many books include commentary from the author as well as references to primary source sources.
  • Government organizations:
    A Lot of government organizations keep records and databases of documents and reports that may be helpful to scholars.
  • Institutions of higher learning:
    Colleges and universities conduct a lot of research and provide data that can be requested by researchers.

The pros of using secondary research while writing a dissertation

Secondary sources are widely available, and researchers have little to no problem obtaining them. Unlike primary data, which requires a lengthy and complex process, secondary data can be gathered by the researcher from various current sources without leaving the comfort of their desk.

Secondary research is a straightforward process, thus the costs connected with it are almost insignificant

The Cons of using Secondary research while writing a dissertation

Secondary research relies on primary research and draws its conclusions from collections of primary data. The quality of the primary data employed in the secondary study will, in part, determine its reliability.

Secondary sources might not provide correct and/or up-to-date data that make your research impact if exclude reliable information.

Key differences between primary research and secondary research while writing a dissertation

  • Definition:
    Primary research is a research method that involves acquiring data directly, whereas secondary research relies on previously collected data when conducting a systematic inquiry.
  • Sources of data:
    In primary research, common data sources include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and observation techniques. Secondary research involves gathering existing research resources from various sources such as the internet, libraries, and archives.
  • Different names:
    Secondary research is also known as desk research because it does not always necessitate the researcher moving from one location to another. Meanwhile, primary research is sometimes known as a field research design since it demands the researcher become completely immersed in the data collection process.
  • Data type:
    Primary research uses current information, whereas secondary research uses previous or already existing research resources. Primary research is ultimately concerned with acquiring firsthand information on research subjects and contexts, whereas secondary research just re-examines existing data.
  • Research purpose:
    The primary research approach is specifically designed from start to end to address the unique study challenge, which is why it relies on first-hand data. Secondary research does not solve a specific problem; rather, it gives general information that can be applied to primary research.
  • Data accuracy:
    Data acquired through primary research are more accurate than data gathered through secondary research. The researcher is fully involved in the data gathering process in primary research, and he or she takes care to obtain valid data that can be easily authenticated.
  • Ownership:
    In primary research, the researcher has complete ownership and control over the data, and he or she can choose whether or not to make it available to others. However, in secondary research, the researcher does not own the data and hence does not have complete control over it.

How to use primary and secondary research while writing a dissertation: Conclusion

Depending on their objectives, a researcher can employ either primary or secondary research methodologies. When deciding between primary and secondary research, you should constantly evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of both types of research to make an informed selection. The ideal method to choose the correct research plan for your dissertation is to consider your research topic, research questions, goals, and objectives, as well as your time and financial resources.

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