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CHAPTER 5

 In communities all over the world, there are persons


who are assigned by inheritance or talent the
memory of the people.
 One many have many stories, anecdotes, facts and
vignettes of the past; another may be a repository of
ditties and songs.
 In the book Roots by Alex Haley, one such person
traced him the event that led to the capture of his
ancestor who became a slave in America.
 The narrative was done backwards from the present
until the beginnings of the tribe.
 That person is called a griot who through memory
maintains an oral record of the history of his tribe in
Western Africa.
 In the Philippines, the storytellers of old are
immortalized in Lola Basyang, the storyteller who
keeps alive our legends and myths in radio
programs, comic books, books and television.
 The storytellers of long ago inspired the creation of
Lola Basyang. These storytellers still do their trade
in the far-flung barangays of our country.
 They are sources of news and stories about life as it
was and their neighbors and friends greet them
with “What’s up?” questions.
 In the rural areas also, the herbolario possesses
information and knowledge of plants and their
medicinal properties.
 When many people consult the herbolario due to
the number of persons he or she has healed, he or
she may be considered a reliable and authoritative
information source on medicinal plants.
 At home, grandparents, uncles, aunts and other
relatives, narrate family or clan stories during
gatherings. They do so naturally with action, mimicry,
and drama but that is all their own.
 It is but logical that they become the young’s sources of
media and information about many things in the
surroundings and life as a whole.
 Checking for reliability and accuracy of these stories
can be done by asking discretely other relatives so as
to maintain harmony in the family or clan.
 Some groups of people or a community
organization may create its own media or
information source.
 A newsletter, radio program or television program
can be the media form set up and controlled
because only the members can be in-charge of
production.
What then is an indigenous media and
information source?
Is it only for an indigenous tribe or a particular
community?
Is it original?
Is it indigenous in the sense that it is done
spontaneously for identity?
Is it run by a private company or a government
agency?
 There are primary, secondary and tertiary media and information
sources in the library.
 These categories of information moves through a cycle: a Cebuano
scientist interviews a local hebolario, integrates the results of the
interview in his or her scientific report, and submits it to a journal
for publication as a primary source.
 Another scientist happens to read the journal articles and cites the
Cebuano scientist in his or her book as a secondary source. By this
time, the journal article has been indexed in a bibliographic
database and retrieved by other scientists.
 The book also has been indexed and used by
students. In other words, the primary source has
been repackaged, cited and integrated into the
knowledge base of certain users.
 Note that the sciences and the humanities differ in
their classification of primary, secondary and
tertiary sources.
 Primary sources present original thinking in a report on
discoveries or new information.
 They are usually the first formal publication of results in the
print or electronic literature.
 The information or results are in original form devoid of
interpretation, evaluation or condensation by other writers.
 They are record of what it is that happened as they
occurred or close to the time period of the happening.
 Scientific journal articles reporting  Interviews, surveys and fieldwork
experimental research results
 Letters and correspondence
 Proceedings of meetings, conferences
and symposia  Speeches
 Technical reports  Newspaper articles (may also be
 Dissertations or theses (may also be secondary)
secondary)
 Government documents
 Patents of inventions
 Photographs and works of art
 Sets of data, such as census statistics
 Original documents (such as birth
 Works of literature (such as poems and
fiction) certificate or trial transcripts)
 Diaries  Internet communications on e-mail,
listservs, and newsgroups
 autobiographies
 It is a little bit difficult to define secondary sources. Generally,
secondary sources interpret and evaluate primary sources
through description, comments and analysis of content.
 The sciences identify writings as secondary sources’ contents
by summarizing, abstracting, indexing or repackaging to make
information understandable to the user.
 To take it further, what some defines as a primary source, others
may define as secondary.
 What some define as a secondary source is a primary source if
it reports an event as it happens, but a secondary source if it
analyzes and comments on that event hours later.
 Bibliographies (may also be tertiary)  Journal articles, particularly in
 Biographical works disciplines other than science (may
also be primary)
 Commentaries
 Monographs (other than fiction and
 Dictionaries and encyclopedias (may also
be tertiary) autobiography)
 Dissertations or theses (more usually  Newspaper and popular magazine
primary) articles (may also be primary)
 Handbooks and data compilations (may  Review articles and literature reviews
also be tertiary)
 Textbooks (may also be tertiary)
 History
 Treatises
 Indexing and abstracting tools used to
locate primary and secondary sources  Works of criticism and interpretation
(may also be tertiary)
The information and contents of tertiary
sources come from secondary sources. The
authors present the contents in a convenient,
easy-to-read format without the users reading
through a lot of pages or opening other
websites.
 Almanacs and fact books
 Bibliographies (may also be secondary)
 Chronologies
 Dictionaries and encyclopedias (may also be secondary)
 Directories
 Guidebooks, manuals, catalogs, OPACs (Online Public Access Catalog)
 Handbooks and data compilations (may also be secondary)
 Indexing and abstracting tools used to locate primary and secondary
sources (may also be secondary)
 Textbooks (may also be secondary)
DISCIPLINE PRIMARY SOURCES SECONDARY SOURCES TERTIARY SOURCES

ART Original artwork Article critiquing the Art Index


artwork
Engineering Patent Derwent Patents Index Guide to using patent
literature
History South Pole explorer’s Biography of the explorer Australian Public
diary Affairs Information
Service (APAIS)
Literature Poem Treatise on poetry with a Modern Language
paragraph on that poem Association (MLA)
Science Journal article reporting 1. Biological Abstracts 1. Guide to using
original coral research 2. Review of recent Biological Abstract
research on corals 2. Books of Corals
Theatre Video of a performance Review of the performance Chronology of the
play
Psychology Notes taken by a clinical Monograph on the Dictionary of
psychologist condition Psychology