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Source vs. Resource: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on December 7, 2023
A source is an origin or point of derivation, while a resource is a supply or support available for use when needed.

Key Differences

Source refers to the point where something begins or is obtained from. Resource denotes a stock or supply of materials or assets that can be drawn upon.
Source can be a place, person, or thing from which something originates. In contrast, a resource is often something used to achieve a goal or meet a need.
A source is the starting point or cause of something. A resource, however, is an aid or support, often used for practical purposes.
Source is used in the context of information or reference, indicating the origin. Resource is more about utility, referring to things that are useful or beneficial.
In research, a source is where information comes from. In project management, a resource refers to anything used to help accomplish a task.

Comparison Chart


The point of origin or derivation
A supply or support available for use


Information, origin, cause
Utility, aid, support

Usage Example

Source of information, source of a river
Resource allocation, natural resources


To identify origin or causation
To provide aid, support, or means

Role in Application

Referenced in research, investigation
Utilized in planning, development

Source and Resource Definitions


Source is the point where something originates.
The river's source is in the mountains.


Resource refers to a stock or supply of materials.
The library is an excellent resource for research.


Source refers to the cause or origin of something.
Stress was the source of his health problems.


Resource can mean help or support available.
She used her networking skills as a resource.


Source is used in referencing in academic writing.
The study's sources were cited at the end.


Resource includes tools or strategies for dealing with problems.
Online forums can be a great resource for troubleshooting.


Source can be a person or document providing information.
She was the main source for the news article.


Resource can be an economic or productive asset.
Natural resources like oil and gas are crucial for the economy.


Source can mean the supplier of a product.
We need to find a new source for our materials.


Resource is something used to achieve a goal.
Time is a valuable resource in project management.


A person or thing from which something comes into being or is derived or obtained
Alternative sources of energy.
The source of funding for the project.


Something that is available for use or that can be used for support or help
The local library is a valuable resource.


The point of origin of a stream or river.


Often resources An available supply, especially of money, that can be drawn on when needed.


The ability to deal with a difficult or troublesome situation effectively; resourcefulness
A person of resource.


What is a resource?

A supply or support available for use.

What is a source?

The point of origin or provider of information.

Can a person be a resource?

Yes, in terms of their skills, knowledge, or assistance.

How is source used in research?

As the origin of information or data.

Can a person be a source?

Yes, a person can be a source of information or advice.

What is an example of a resource in a project?

Funds, materials, or tools used to complete the project.

Is a source always tangible?

No, it can be intangible like an idea or inspiration.

Are resources always material?

No, they can also be skills, time, or information.

Is energy considered a resource?

Yes, energy is a key resource in many contexts.

What is an example of a source in writing?

A book or article from which information is obtained.

Can 'source' mean a supplier?

Yes, it can refer to a supplier of goods.

Is human capital a resource?

Yes, human skills and talents are resources.

Do sources need to be cited?

In academic and research contexts, yes.

Can online databases be a source?

Yes, they can be sources of information.

Can online tools be a resource?

Yes, they can be resources for tasks or learning.

Is a historical document a source?

Yes, for historical information and research.

How is resource used in management?

As assets or supplies needed for operations.

Are resources finite?

Some resources are finite, like natural resources, while others are not.

Can technology be a resource?

Yes, technology is a resource in many fields.

Is a river's starting point a source?

Yes, it's the geographical source of the river.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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