One of the most efficient and increasingly common methods of investigating phenomena in the education and social sciences is the use of databases. Large-scale databases generally comprise information collected as part of a research project. Information included in databases ranges from survey data from clinical trials to psychoeducational data from early childhood projects. Research projects from which databases are derived can be longitudinal or cross-sectional in nature, use multiple or individual informants, be nationally representative or specific to a state or community, and be primary data for the original researcher or secondary data for individuals conducting analysis at a later time. This entry explores the benefits and limitations of using databases in research, describes how to locate databases, and discusses the types of databases and ...
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