Research Question and Secondary Data Discussion

During this course, you may have read about several different challenges and opportunities of using secondary data. There is an old, but current dilemma related with the use of secondary data, where researchers are divided on when the research questions should take form, before or after the review of the dataset. As in any other analytical process, you should approach this issue in a logical way; consider all the characteristics of the secondary data and your needs.

For this Discussion, you will consider whether the research question should come before or after a review of the secondary data.

  • Critically analyze this week’s Learning Resources.

Post a 2- to 3-paragraph evaluation of the relationship between the research question and secondary data. Include the following:

  • Your position on whether it is more important to devise your research question first and then match it with the appropriate secondary data, or to develop your research question after reviewing secondary data
  • A description of one strength and one limitation to each approach (justify your responses)

Support your post with the Learning Resources and current literature. Use APA formatting for your Discussion and to cite your resources.


Kelder, J.-A. (2005). Using someone else’s data: Problems, pragmatics and provisions. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(1), 1–13.

Fullerton, S. M., & Lee, S. S. (2011). Secondary uses and the governance of de-identified data: Lessons from the human genome diversity panel. BMC Medical Ethics, 12(1), 16.,%202005.pdf