What are the 4 methods of secondary research?

What are the 4 methods of secondary research?

If you are writing research work and the question ever crossed your mind that you have no idea what you are going to do with your research work then congratulations, you are on the right path. It is because if we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research work. Students get so overwhelmed when they are assigned research work that they instantly opt for Research Data Collection Services which is absolutely fine but at the same time, it is nothing to be intimidated by.

It is from the start of the graduation period when students are assigned the research work. Taking help from professionals in the form of SPSS Data Analysis Services UK-based or data collection in any respective field is completely okay. However; a student must be familiar with the main concept of research work, its branches, and its methods of conducting research. This post will help the students in getting familiar with all these sides of the research work.

What is research work?

Research work can be defined as the collection of data to find a solution or answer to a problem in a discussion. Various methods of research are conducted to meet the objective of the particular research work. It is because of these research works that students get to have a better understanding of the topic. It allows the students to pursue their interests and challenge their inner capabilities of critical thinking and problem-solving capacity.

The research projects that undergraduate students are assigned are named assignments but the research projects that post-graduate students are assigned are known as dissertations or theses (helpwithdissertation.co.uk, 2022). There are two main methods of research work;

  • Primary research.
  • Secondary research.

Primary research:

Primary research is the method used for conducting research that is directly taken from the source. There is no indirect involvement of the already published research works in this form of research.  Most commonly; it is different businesses and organizations that use primary research methods for research purposes. The following are some of the main methods that are used to conduct primary research;

  • Interviews (face-to-face or telephonic).
  • Online surveys.
  • Focus groups.

Secondary research:

The research process and research design are important considerations in conducting research ( Hair Jr. et al, 2019). Secondary research is the kind of research work in which the previously published work is used as a source of research and the results are concluded based on the data collection from different sources. These sources have to be authentic and scholarly because research work cannot be based on unproved or casual stories.

Advantages of conducting secondary research:

The following are some of the advantages of conducting secondary research;

  • It is cost-effective because you have to collect data from already published work so it does not involve any cost or it requires minimum cost.
  • It is time and effort-saving as compared to primary research methods.
  • An excessive amount of information can be gathered through this form of research.


A secondary research method also has its limitations, some of which are as follows;

  • The research won’t be as unique because the same published data can be taken by every researcher.
  • It sometimes cannot reach get concrete answers.

Four methods of secondary research based on the form of source:

A secondary research method is divided into four types based on the sources from where the data is collected. These four methods are as follows;

1.      Data collected through the internet:

As the name implies; this is the method by which the data is collected through the online medium. This is the era of the internet and the internet has an extensive range of data available. You can get data from various sources available on the internet on any given topic.

2.      Data collected through the libraries:

Another source of collected authentic data from reliable sources is to find it from libraries. A library is an information storehouse that contains a collection of important information. The source can be public as well as a private library as long as the material is authentic. These can be books of academic research works, business documentaries, newsletters, annual reports, and so on.

3.      Data collected through the archives:

Archives are basically the verified form of information that provides useful insights into different research contexts. These archives can be governmental or non-governmental. A sum of money has to be invested to access gain to the data. This data is not easily available because some of them are classified forms of information.

4.      Data collected through the organizations:

These organizations are basically educational facilities like schools, colleges, universities, and so on. A lot of research work is done in educational institutes so gathering data from them won’t be difficult, the students and the faculty members of the school have easier access to the research work done by the specific institute than people not coming from the same educational institute.

Two methods of secondary research based on the content:

Secondary research can also be divided into two more categories on the basis of the kind of content collected in the research work. These two categories are as follows;

  • Qualitative method.
  • Quantitative method.

·         Qualitative method:

This is the method in which the collected data is written with the intangibles and discusses the factors like quality, color, preference, and appearance.

·         Quantitative method:

This is yet another method used for conducting secondary research in which the content is provided in the form of numbers, statistics, and percentages.


There is no second opinion about the fact that research works play an integral role in bringing awareness and in elaborating concepts to students in a much better Way. There are two main types of research work which are further divided into their respective categories. Secondary research work is one of the most commonly used forms of research done by students. Hopefully; the above-mentioned post will help the students plus the readers in understanding all about secondary research work.


helpwithdissertation.co.uk. (2022, Nov 25th). How to Write a Dissertation Proposal in Professional Way? https://www.helpwithdissertation.co.uk/blog/how-to-write-a-dissertation-proposal-in-professional-way/.

Joe Hair Jr., M. P. (4th Nov 2019). Overview of the Research Process. In M. P. Joe Hair Jr., Essentials of Business Research Methods (p. 28). NewYork: Routledge.




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