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Large Data Sets in Nursing Research- RUL: Related Resources

introduction to existing data set sources that might be used for secondary analysis by nurse researchers

Articles from the nursing journal literature

Aponte, J. (2010). Key elements of large survey data sets. Nursing Economic$, 28(1), 27-36.

Jacobson, A., Hamilton, P., & Galloway, J. (1993). Obtaining and evaluating data sets for secondary analysis in nursing research. Western Journal Of Nursing Research, 15(4), 483-494.

McArt, E., & McDougal, L. (1985). Secondary data analysis: a new approach to nursing research. Image: Journal Of Nursing Scholarship, 17(2), 54-57.

Doolan, D., & Froelicher, E. (2009). Using an existing data set to answer new research questions: a methodological review. Research & Theory For Nursing Practice, 23(3), 203-215.

Lange, L., & Jacox, A. (1993). Using large data bases in nursing and health policy research. Journal Of Professional Nursing, 9(4), 204-211.


       The NIH Library maintains a helpful website, Health Data Resources,  that offers information you can use to find, apply and analyze health and population data. The guide includes sections on sources for demographic data as well as hospital, surveillance, and service utilization data.


Walden University's Center for Research Quality offers a multi-module self paced tutorial ( on secondary data analysis.  A transcript of the tutorial is available.

Federal agencies conducting national surveys usually include tutorials in their information about the data sets. 

Book and encyclopedia resources

              The Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods authored by Michael S. Lewis-Beck, Alan Bryman and Tim Futing Liao in 2004 has sections on the secondary analysis of quantitative, qualitative and survey data.  The descriptions are sufficiently detailed to give you a sense of direction.

       Secondary data analysis  written by Thomas P. Vartanian in 2011, is a volume in the series, Pocket guides to social work research methods.  It is a brief and practical guide to the subject.

The Encyclopedia  and the Vartanian book are both available in electronic format.  Just click on the titles to get to the resource.  Both are Rutgers restricted.


         Dana Library owns a circulating copy of Emma Smith's book, Using secondary data in educational and social research (Maidenhead ; New York, NY: Open University Press., 2008) which has been cited by other authors as an important resource.  The call number is  H62.S658 2008.


       The following two books approach secondary data analysis from a more closely related point of view.  They are available in print only.

       In 2011, the American Psychological Association published Secondary data analysis : an introduction for psychologists by Kali H. Trzesniewski, M. Brent Donnellan, and Richard E. Lucas.  The Library of Science and Medicine owns a circulating copy.  BF39.S39 2011

      Sarah B. Boslaugh authored Secondary data sources for public health : a practical guide in 2007 which was published by Cambridge University Press.  Dana Library has a circulating copy available.  RA409.B66 2007

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