KEY FEATURES: Introduces students to developing research questions and shows their importance in driving research design. Rarely taught topics, such as how to enter and clean data, offer students information missed in both research methods and statistics courses. Shows how to write up survey results for academic, business and nonprofit reports to alleviate the confusion students feel about how to write up findings. Rigorous treatment of sampling focuses on many sampling issues from probability theory to weighting. Offers the process of actually conducting a survey with advice on administering surveys, incentives, and improving response rates.

What Other Sorts of Documentation Are Needed, and Why?

Erin Ruel

The codebook is the most important document for a study because it connects the survey questionnaire and the dataset. There are at least two other sets of documents that may be helpful to create and maintain. The first is the syntax file used to enter and clean the data. Syntax is the language used to code in statistical software packages. Comments can be used throughout the syntax to explain what is happening in each set of syntax. Dates can be useful in the syntax comments as well to help us remember when different parts of the syntax were run on the data.

The syntax, even without comments, provides a transparency trail of all variable manipulations ...

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