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A primary data source is an original data source, that is, one in which the data are collected firsthand by the researcher for a specific research purpose or project. Primary data can be collected in a number of ways. However, the most common techniques are self-administered surveys, interviews, field observation, and experiments. Primary data collection is quite expensive and time consuming compared to secondary data collection. Notwithstanding, primary data collection may be the only suitable method for some types of research.

Primary Data Sources versus Secondary Data Sources

In the conduct of research, researchers rely on two kinds of data sources—primary and secondary. The term primary source is used broadly to embody all sources that are original. This can be contrasted with the term primary data source, ...

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