So to recap, secondary research involves re-analysing, interpreting, or reviewing past data.
The role of the researcher is always to specify how this past data informs his or her current research.
So simple, in fact, that we have been able to explain how to do it completely in just 4 steps (see below).
If nothing else, secondary research avoids the all-so-tiring efforts usually involved with primary research.
Here's what we'll cover in this guide: So, what exactly do we mean when we say “secondary research”?
To answer this question, let’s first recall what we mean by primary research.In contrast, secondary research involves data that has been collected by somebody else previously.This type of data is called “past data” and is usually accessible via past researchers, government records, and various online and offline resources.As an undergraduate or graduate student, your dissertation project won't need to be an expensive endeavour.Thus, it is useful to know that you can further reduce costs, by using freely available secondary data sets. Most students value another important advantage of secondary research, which is that secondary research saves you time.Moreover, you probably won’t need a lot of time to obtain your secondary data set, because secondary data is usually easily accessible.In the past, students needed to go to libraries and spend hours trying to find a suitable data set.If you are reading this guide, it's very likely you may be doing secondary research for your dissertation, rather than primary.If this is indeed you, then here's the good news: secondary research is the easiest type of research! In a nutshell, secondary research is far more simple.In contrast to primary research, secondary research is easier, particularly because the researcher is less involved with the actual process of collecting the data.Furthermore, secondary research requires less time and less money (i.e., you don’t need to provide your participants with compensation for participating or pay for any other costs of the research).