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Knowledge creation and the use of secondary data

Alvarez, Juan; Canduela, Jesus; Raeside, Robert


Juan Alvarez

Jesus Canduela


Aims and Objectives: the purpose of this paper is to expose problems of using bespoke questionnaire based surveys to create knowledge and to advance the use of secondary data as an alternative research approach.
Background: Many researchers from students undertaking dissertations to those who attempt to create knowledge to advance society collect data by using questionnaires. But this raises reliability and validity concerns as a consequence of low response rates and non response bias. This constrains knowledge creation.
Design and method: First the value of questionnaire based research will be discussed. Then it is argued that much can be accomplished using secondary data. The paper concludes by presenting a case study developed from the Scottish Health Survey (SHeS).
Results and conclusion: We demonstrate that there may be an alternative for creating bespoke questionnaires by researchers. The data to answer their research questions may already exist in official surveys whose data are available to students and researchers. By for analysing a case study we demonstrate the value of one of these secondary sources – the Scottish Health Survey.
Relevance to Clinical Practice: We show that clinical practitioners in their training and in any professional research should consider alternative methods of collecting data for undertaking quantitative research. We advance the use of analysis of data collected by official surveys. Using secondary data can be more efficient in training students in research methods and make dissertations produced more meaningful.


Alvarez, J., Canduela, J., & Raeside, R. (2012). Knowledge creation and the use of secondary data. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21, 2699-2710.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2012-10
Deposit Date Jun 7, 2012
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 1365-2702
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Pages 2699-2710
Keywords Knowledge; questionnaires; surveys; reliability; validity;
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