The Nature of Secondary Data

Reviews utilise secondary data, which is data where the researcher did not participate in the research design and data collection process nor was the data collected to answer the specific research questions of the researcher’s current study. Potential sources for secondary data include:

Routinely collected data

  • maps and metrological recordings
  • demographic and health surveys
  • census and statistics
  • medical records , in-patient / out-patient registers

Case data

  • media reports and public opinion polls
  • manuals and guidelines
  • time-lines and periodic reports
  • planning and evaluation documents
  • policies and legal documents

Research data

  • experimental study , survey & questionnaires, interviews and FGD

Secondary data can come from both peer reviewed publications and grey literature.

Narrative literature reviews allow the researcher to address much broader questions than a single empirical study can. Learn how to conduct a systematic review in the following.

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