Data Assessment: Basic Methodological Considerations

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Data Assessment: Basic Methodological Considerations No research can ever be better than the quality of research on which it is based, which is why it is essential to ensure that the data are as accurate as possible as well as ensuring that the data have been gathered in a format that makes them the most useful possible for the project at hand. It is important to note that different types of data are more or less appropriate for different types of research: There is no single best method of collecting data and no single best form of data for all research. For example, if one is examining how well a new vaccination works then one will want to collect quantitative data such as the size of the dosages given, the time interval between dosages, the age and weight of the patient, etc. In the most general terms, quantitative data are data that you can count and that refer to objectively defined phenomenon such as the time and dosage of a vaccination. Qualitative data are disparaged by many researchers because they are considered to be too "soft"; that is, because they are embody subjective elements in them. Certainly it is true that subjective data would be far from useful in many cases: One would not want to take a vaccination that had been approved by researchers who had never bothered to make precise measurements about the appropriate dosages. But, alternatively, one would never want objective data about what a poem means for the simple reason that there simply are no
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