Conflict Resolution Studies: Research: Types of Information

info question Facebook Twitter user Ask Skip the menu to the main content

Types of Information Sources:

  • books
  • reference books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.)
  • periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals, etc.)
  • websites

When researching a topic, you need to investigate a variety of sources to gather information.  Watch the videos below for a "big picture" overview on how information sources are created.

Some Definitions

Open Access
Open access research is "research publicly available to everyone—free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions." (Full Article)
Open Society Foundations. (2012). Scientists, foundations, libraries, universities, and advocates unite and issue new recommendations to make research freely available to all online [Press release]. Retrieved from

Peer Reviewed/Refereed

"Peer review refers generally to the evaluation of professional performance or products by other professionals and, more specifically, to a set of procedures for evaluating grant proposals and manuscripts submitted for publication." (Full Article)

To determine if an article has been peer reviewed/refereed, use the Ulrichsweb Database to see if the journal uses peer review. Enter the name of the journal and look for the referee jersey icon.

Mark, M., & Chua, P. (2005). Peer review. In S. Mathison (Ed.), Encyclopedia of evaluation. (p. 301). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. doi:

Primary Sources
A primary source is "an original source of data; one that puts as few intermediaries as possible between the production and the study of data." (Full Article)

Primary source. (2005). In W. Paul Vogt (Ed.), Dictionary of statistics & methodology. (3rd ed., p. 246). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:

Secondary Sources
A secondary source is "a source that provides non-original (“secondhand”) data or information." (Full Article)

Secondary source. (2005). In W. Paul Vogt (Ed.), Dictionary of statistics & methodology. (3rd ed., p. 291). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: