Reusing quantitative data

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"Re-using data to answer new questions"

Understanding your data

There is a vast body of literature on the reuse of quantitative data, addressing methodological issues and explaining how to conduct secondary analysis. Here we provide a list of UK Data Service resources and cite a selection of articles that cover a range of perspectives about secondary analysis of quantitative data.

RESOURCES ON reusING quaNTitative data

  •  Case studies relating to the use of secondary quantitative data


  • Aponte, J. (2010) ‘Key elements of large survey data sets’, Nursing Economics, 28(1), 27–36.
  • Bryman, A. (2004) 'Social research methods'. Oxford University Press.
  • Campbell, J. P., Daft, R. L., and Hulin, C. L. (1982) 'What to study: Generating and developing research questions'. Vol. 32. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1982.
  • Coleman, J. S. et al (1966) 'Equality of educational opportunity'. Washington, dc: 1066-5684.
  • Church, R. M. (2002) ‘The effective use of secondary data’, Learning and Motivation, 33, 32–45. doi:10.1006/lmot.2001.1098 
  • Dale, A., Arber, S. and Procter, M. (1988) 'Doing secondary analysis'. London: Unwin Hyman.
  • Dale, A., Wathan, J., Higgins, V. (2008) ‘Secondary Analysis of Quantitative Data Sources’ In The Sage Handbook of Social Research Methods, ed. Pertti Alasuutari, Leonard Bickman, Julia Brannen, 520-535. Sage. eScholarID: 3b2993
  • Dale, A., Fieldhouse, E. A., Clare Holdsworth (2000) Analyzing Census Microdata (1st edition), London: Edward Arnold. eScholarID:4b2004
  • Denzin, N. K. (1970) 'The research act in sociology: A theoretical introduction to sociological methods'. 203-208.
  • De Vaus (2008) 'Comparative and Cross-National Designs’ in Alasuutari, Pertti, Leonard Bickman, and Julia Brannen, eds. The SAGE handbook of social research methods. Sage.
  • Doolan, D. M., and Froelicher, E. S. (2009) ‘Using an existing data set to answer new research questions: A methodological review’, Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 23(3): 203–215.
  • Dorling, D. and Simpson, S. (eds.) (1998) Statistics in Society, London: Arnold.
  • Elliot J. and Marsh C. (2008) Exploring Data (2nd edition), Cambridge: Polity.
  • Glaser, B.G. (1963) 'Secondary Analysis: A strategy for the use of knowledge from research elsewhere'. Social Problem, 10, 70-74.
  • Langkamp, D. L., Lehman, A., and Lemeshow, S. (2010) ‘Techniques for handling missing data in secondary analyses of large surveys’, Academic Pediatrics, 10(3): 205–210.
  • Lazarsfeld, P. F. (1949) 'The American Soldier—An Expository Review'. Public Opinion Quarterly 13.3: 377-404.
  • Mainous AG, 3rd, Hueston W.J. (1997) ‘Using other people’s data: the ins and outs of secondary data analysis’, Family Medicine, 29(8): 568–571.
  • Mosteller, F. and Moynihan, D. P. (1972) 'On equality of educational opportunity'. Papers deriving from the Harvard University faculty seminar on the Coleman Report. New York: Vintage Books.
  • Pearce, A., Jenkins, R., Kirk, C., and Law, C. (2008) ‘An evaluation of UK secondary data sources for the study of childhood obesity, physical activity and diet’, Child: Care, Health and Development, 34(6): 701–709.
  • Pertti Alasuutari, Leonard Bickman, Julia Brannen (2008) The Sage Handbook of Social Research Methods, Sage.
  • Pike, G. R. (2008) ‘Using weighting adjustments to compensate for survey nonresponse’, Research in Higher Education, 49(2): 153–171.
  • Quantitative Methods Initiative. Retrieved 15 November 2013
  • Przeworski, A., and Teune, H. (1966) 'Equivalence in cross-national research'. Public Opinion Quarterly 30.4: 551-568.
  • Smith, A. K., Ayanian, J. Z., Covinsky, K. E., Landon, B. E., McCarthy, E. P., Wee C. C., and Steinman, M. A. (2011) ‘Conducting high-value secondary dataset analysis: An introductory guide and resources’, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(8): 920 -929. doi: 10.1007/s11606-010-1621-5
  • Smith, E. (2008) Using Secondary Data in Educational and Social Research, Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Wang, R., Sedransk, J., and Jinn, J. H. (1992) ‘Secondary data analysis when there are missing observations’, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 87(420): 952–961.
  • Webb, E.J. Campbell, D. T., Richard, Schwartz, D. and Sechrest, L. (1966) 'Unobtrusive measures: Nonreactive research in the social sciences'. Vol. 111. Chicago: Rand McNally.
  • Williams, R. M. (1989) 'The American soldier: An assessment, several wars later'. Public Opinion Quarterly: 155-174.
  • Yiannakoulias, N. (2011) ‘Understanding identifiability in secondary health data’, Canadian Journal of Public Health, 102(4): 291–293.

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