Primary research

Primary research involves the collection of original primary data by researchers. It is often undertaken after researchers have gained some insight into an issue by reviewing secondary research or by analyzing previously collecte primary data. It can be accomplished through various methods, including questionnaires and telephone interviews in market research, or experiments and direct observations in the physical sciences, amongst others. The distinction between primary research and secondary research is crucial among market-research professionals.


The term primary research is widely used in academic research, market research and competitive intelligence.

There are advantages and disadvantages to primary research:



An example of primary research in opinion research is if the government wants to know if people are pleased with how the government is being run, so it hands out questionnaires to the public asking if it is happy and, if not, how the government is to improve.

An example of primary research in the physical sciences is ic the transition temperature of high-temperature superconductors can be increased by varying the composition of the superconducting material. The scientist will modify the composition of the high-Tc material in various ways and then measure the transition temperature of the new material, as a function of its composition.

All research, primary or secondary, depends eventually on the collection of primary research data.

See also


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