Popular secondary data sources that you can use for your dissertation research


Introduction

Data. If you are writing a thesis or doing scientific research, and you want to perform some type of statistical analysis, then you will need data to answer your research question. However, it’s not always obvious where you can find the right data for the job. Therefore, a question that I am often asked by students is: “Where can I find data for my thesis?”. In this post, I have collected a list of secondary data sources that may help you to find the the right data for your own research. I have divided them in the following categories:

Surveys
Databases
Project data
Search engines
Journal data
Researcher data
Other lists

Not familiar with secondary data? Let’s start with a quick introduction!

Primary and secondary data

Let’s first make a distinction between two types of data. Primary data is data that you collect yourself, for example by doing an experiment or by administering surveys. Secondary data is data that has already been collected for you. For example, by a National Statistics Bureau of a certain country, or by an already existing survey such as the World Values Survey. Secondary data can also be data that is stored in an existing database, such as the Genetic Variation data from the European Variation Archive.

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What are the differences between a Bachelor’s and Master’s dissertation?


Introduction

Whether it’s a Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis, the process of writing a thesis basically is the same. However, that doesn’t mean that both documents that come out of this process will be exactly the same. In this post, I will discuss 3 points on which a Master’s thesis typically differs from a Bachelor’s thesis:

I’ll also share one of the most common questions I get asked on this topic: “Does this mean that a Master’s thesis is (much) longer than a Bachelor’s thesis?” Check out my answer to this question at the end of this post!

A Master’s thesis uses more advanced literature

Books vs. articles

When they start their Master’s program, most students notice a transition when it comes to how ‘knowledge’ is transferred. Whereas most knowledge would come from books in their Bachelor’s program, suddenly academic literature such as scientific articles are dominant in the curriculum. Indeed, articles are a more advanced way of learning: whereas the author of a text-book has interpreted the findings of studies for you, with articles you have to now interpret the quality, merit and implications of this knowledge yourself!

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