Here are links to some additional resource guides about, or related to, data and statistics:
Datasets & Statistics - What's the Difference?
The difference is that datasets are presented to you in full - all available variables - for you to manipulate and aggregate as needed. Statistics are typically presented in aggregate form already as a table, chart or graph.
When would you use one over the other?
When you want quick facts for a presentation or paper (typically used to strengthen a point), you would use prepared statistics. Just make sure you cite them properly. If you're planning to test a hypothesis, develop a comprehensive marketing strategy, assess the effect of a particular treatment - essentially anything that would require in-depth analyses - then you need a dataset.
Primary versus Secondary Data
When you collect data for your own research, this is considered primary data collection. When you use a dataset that has been collected by somone else, you are using what is considered secondary data.
Responsible Conduct of Research W/R/T Data Collection and Use
When you are collecting your own data, you must follow the responsible research guidelines and regulations established by the federal government and Johns Hopkins. For public-use secondary data (i.e. Census data, most of the datasets you can access in ICPSR), you still should practice being a responsible researcher, but formal review is not necessary. For restricted-use secondary data (datasets you request and must a contract or license to use) you may need to have proof of IRB review before getting access to the data. If you are concerned about whether or not your project with secondary data must be reviewed, please feel free to contact Jen Darragh for assistance.
Data Management Consulting
JHU Data Management Services (DMS) can guide you in preparing NSF data management plans tailored for the standards of your field and NSF Directorate. They can also archive your research data so that it can be shared and preserved through our state-of-the-art repository, the JHU Data Archive. Contact a JHU DMS consultant or visit their website at http://dmp.data.jhu.edu/.
A-Level, MSE Library
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