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Research life cycle: 2.Research phase: Collect data

How to collect research data?

You can collect research data in three ways:

  1. Create your own data = primary data
    This data may require additional measures in the area of security, anonymisation or pseudonomisation in the context of, for example, GDPR, MREC or other legislation and regulations.
  2. (Re-)use existing data = secondary data
    These data are already protected/anonymized and therefore free to use, subject to any license conditions.
  3. Doing literature research

Use of online tools, such as online questionnaires and video calling:
Please note that you only use tools/programs that are AVG proof.
Suitable for online questionnaires: Enalyzer, Questback (so NOT SurveyMonkey!)
Suitable for video calling: Microsoft Teams, Zoom (only the payed version), Bluejeans, Jitsi (free) (so NOT Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, Hangouts, ...!)
More info in this LibGuide.

Primary data

These are research data that you create / produce yourself, the primary results of your research. There are several ways to create your data:

  • Observation
    Provides unique data, which generally can only be collected once.
  • Interviews
    Provides unique data from conversations with one or more people.
  • Experiments
    Provides data that can generally be reproduced by repeating the experiment.
  • Simulation
  • Data processing
    Provides data resulting from combining, reworking, regrouping, etc. previously created data.
  • Source research
    Provides data aimed at compiling texts or series of measurable data from archival documents, manuscripts, scientific and professional publications.

A distinction is made between raw data and processed data.
But beware: in today's advanced devices, some of the data processing often takes place before the data rolls out of the device. In fact, the raw data has already been processed.

Literature research

During the execution of your research project, you will usually also do literature research. But what exactly does this mean? How do you carry out a structured literature search and how do you process the information you find?

Zuyd Library has set up a separate portal on information literacy skills. Here you will find practical tips and information about:

  • formulating a research question
  • effective searching and finding of information
  • assessing and selecting the information found
  • processing and evaluation of the selected information

You will also find various knowledge clips about searching in search engines, databases and library catalogues.

Zuyd Library offers an extensive collection of databases.

A large part of both the physical and digital library collection can be searched via the DiZ search engine (Discover information sources Zuyd).

Secundary data

These are pre-existing data that you can (re-)use for your research and include:

  • Data collected and analysed by others
  • Data deposited by other researchers for re-use in data repositories

How do you find research data and how do you discover which data archives are available?

  • Via websites:
    From institutes such as CBS, Kadaster, RIVM, ministries, WHO, OECD, CentERdata, etc.
  • Via directories:
    Here you can search for data archives; the search for data sets is done in the data archive of your choice. For example:

    Data repositories (part of Open Access Directory)
    >list per domain or repositories and databases for open data
    ​>search for a repository at subject, content type or country in more than 2000 registered data
      repositories; search then for data sets in the chosen data repository
    >search the web for data and statistics
  • Via data portals:
    Here you search for datasets in one or more data archives at once. For example:

    Google Dataset Search
    >find datasets wherever they’re hosted, whether it’s a data repository, a publisher's site,
      a digital library, a government portal or an author's personal web page
    >search in research data collections from EUDAT data centres and other repositories
    CESSDA Data Catalogue
    ​>search for social and economic research data
    Data portal of the Dutch government
    >register and central location of datasets of all Dutch governments
    >network of Dutch data repositories from universities and universities of applied sciences
    >Dutch online archiving system for depositing and re-using data, access to thousands of
    Global Health Observatory (GHO)
    >WHO's gateway to health-related statistics for its 194 member states. Provides access to
      an interactive repository of health statistics, the GHO data repository, etc.
    NARCIS (datasets)
    >provides access to datasets available via Dutch data archives and repositories, e.g. 4TU,
      DANS-KNAW, CentERdata
    Survey Data Netherlands
    >search in the enormous amount of data collected by surveys conducted in The Netherlands

Tutorial: Which ways can you use to evaluate whether a found dataset is useful to you.
Duration: 7:08 min. | Disclaimer | Over Zuyd Bibliotheek