Secondary research is concerned with the scholarly assessment of existing knowledge. Scholarly secondary research can often lead to new ways of looking at things and progress towards the creation of new knowledge. We risk wasting time "recreating the wheel" if we engage in original research without being aware of published research results. Within Wikiversity, a common way to learn about a subject of interest is to participate in a project that reviews the existing literature and summarizes the results of that review in wiki pages.
The boundary between Secondary research and Original research is not well defined. When Wikiversity participants perform literature reviews and author webpages that document the results of their efforts they are producing new Secondary sources. Secondary sources present analysis, synthesis, interpretation, or evaluation of information or data from other sources. Scholarly Secondary research can produce new knowledge that was not explicitly expressed in the literature that is reviewed. However, new knowledge produced by scholarly Secondary research and new knowledge produced by original research are distinguished according to the methods used in the research. Should Wikiversity allow all methods of research or just some?
- Wikiversity:Research - Source documents concerning research within Wikiversity.
- Original research - unpublished research into a topic using literature review and/or methods in addition to literature review
- Scope of research - should Wikiversity allow all types of research, including original research?
- Research guidelines - what rules are needed to assure that only high quality, scholarly research activities take place?