The analysis of secondary data plays a vital role in many fields of study, including the social sciences. The definition of secondary versus primary data is not based on specific qualities of the data itself but on its history and relationship to a specific analysis. A simple definition is that primary data are collected by a research group for the specific analysis in question, whereas secondary data are collected by someone else for some other purpose. So if a researcher conducts a survey and analyzes the results for his or her analysis, the data from the survey are primary data. If the researcher deposits the data in an archive and someone else unrelated to the original research team analyzes it 20 years later, then the ...
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