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> You have primary-source knowledge of your own? Write a blog post about it. Just like a historian writing a journal paper, that blog post is now a secondary source that quotes your primary-source knowledge. Wikipedia can now cite your blog post. Wikipedia cites plenty of blog posts.

Per Wikipedia editorial guidelines, that is still a primary source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research...

An account of a traffic incident written by a witness is a primary source of information about the event; similarly, a scientific paper documenting a new experiment conducted by the author is a primary source on the outcome of that experiment. Historical documents such as diaries are primary sources.




Yeah, sure, Wikipedia has one (useful, practical) definition of "primary source" and "secondary source", and they're allowed to define those terms however they like.

Usage of the terms outside Wikipedia, in the greater scope of historiography, makes finer distinctions. One example definition (from https://www.lib.uci.edu/what-are-primary-sources):

> Primary sources are documents, images or artifacts that provide firsthand testimony or direct evidence concerning an historical topic under research investigation. Primary sources are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched. Primary sources enable researchers to get as close as possible to what actually happened during an historical event or time period. A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or period after the event has occurred and, generally speaking, with the use of primary sources. The same document, or other piece of evidence, may be a primary source in one investigation and secondary in another. The search for primary sources does not, therefore, automatically include or exclude any format of research materials or type of records, documents, or publications.

Anthropology and paleontology have very clear "primary sources", because they deal in hard artifacts. Those artifacts are primary sources. The things you write down about those artifacts are secondary sources. This distinction is important because different researchers might interpret the same artifact in different ways. But, if you know that there's a primary-source artifact preserved somewhere, you can always go back to it and study it yourself, rather than taking any particular researcher's word for it on what it is, or what it means.

History, on the other hand, deals in documents, received oral traditions, etc. In these cases, the "primary sources" serving as inputs to a historian's work are often things that would have been considered "secondary sources" or even "tertiary sources" at their time of creation. For example, a centuries-old medicinal textbook. A historian can cite this document as a "primary source" for what kinds of medicine people at the time believed in. But, of course, despite being a "primary source" in the sense of being a real document from the period, it's not a "primary source" in the sense of reliably giving you hard data about what people at the time actually did. Every word written in the document was, at the time, an interpretation that went through an editor. They might have introduced all manner of bias.

Likewise, in modern writing, if you are a sane adult human being, you are usually considered to be creating "primary source" documents if you write down/are interviewed about your experiences of things as they happen to you. But—despite being the person that did these things!—if you are recounting your experiences long after the fact, your recollection would usually be considered a "secondary source." Per the definition above:

> Primary sources are original documents created or experienced contemporaneously with the event being researched.

> A secondary source is a work that interprets or analyzes an historical event or period after the event has occurred...

That second assertion still holds, even if the same person that is doing the "interpretation or analysis" took part in the event.

Wikipedia might consider e.g. someone's written reflection on what their childhood was like—or a veteran's recounting of a battle long after the war has ended—to be a "primary source", and it's Wikipedia's perogative to use the term however it best suits them. But most of academia would disagree with them.

And, practically, if you have your own primary-source hat or journalist hat on, you should use the greater academic definitions—because Wikipedia might not always draw these particular distinctions; because you might be submitting your work to more editorial teams than just Wikipedia's; and because it's best to be pessimistic in how authoritative a given editor will judge a particular work of yours to be. If you obey all the rules required to get your work cited as a secondary source, you won't need to worry about whether it qualifies as a primary source.


Usage of the term outside Wikipedia is irrelevant to editing articles on Wikipedia. The person you responded to was talking specifically about having Wikipedia edits reverted for using primary sources.

Though on rereading the post I wonder if the issue is more of original research than primary source. The line between them is a bit blurry.




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