ERIC Number: ED180364
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Concerns in the Selection of an Appropriate Data Source: A Critical Aspect of Institutional Research.
Posey, Ellen I.; Sylvan, Donna L.
The selection of appropriate data sources for institutional research is discussed. It is suggested that the provision of timely, accurate information for administrative decision-making depends on the researcher's ability to determine which data are relevant to the problem. This is of particular concern for institutional researchers because they frequently do not create the data for their analyses and must be especially sensitive in their selection of a data source. An example of a typical institutional descriptor, average class size, is used to clarify the issues involved in the selection of an appropriate data source. It is suggested that within the same institution different data sources can be available for measures with the same label and that varying definitions generate the data sources. Special attention is focused on the definitional aspect of the data source as a critical point in the assessment of the appropriateness of the source for a given problem. Limitations of the sources are explored. It is recommended that institutional researchers be cognizant of the limitations imposed by the definition of the data, and make the consumers of their analyses aware of these limitations. (Author/SF)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Association for Institutional Research (Orlando, FL, October 1979)