Discussion Questions

  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of secondary data analysis? Do you think it’s best to encourage researchers to try to address their research questions with secondary data if at all possible?
  2. What are the similarities and differences between secondary data analysis and Big Data analysis? Do you feel one of these approaches is more likely to yield valid conclusions? Explain your answer.
  3. In a world of limited resources and time constraints, should social researchers be required to include in their proposals to collect new data an explanation of why they cannot investigate their proposed research question with secondary data? Such a requirement might include a systematic review of data that already are available at ICPSR and other sources. Discuss the merits and demerits of such a requirement. If such a requirement were to be adopted, what specific rules would you recommend?