Content Analysis of Data Sets

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Introduction:Records kept by organizations such as nonpublic records for internal operational purposes can turn out to be valuable sources of data for criminal justice researchers. Additionally, there may be times when public organizations are asked to collect new data for researchers. This can be accomplished by interviews or through observation. Agencies typically use different, and sometimes unclear, units of count to record information collected about people and cases. Thus, the units of analysis represented by agency data may not always be obvious on their face. Archives and agency records may be based on units of analysis that are not suitable for particular research questions. Although it is possible to move from individual to aggregate units of analysis, it is not possible to move in the opposite direction. That said, sampling agency records is relatively simple once the units of analysis are defined.


For this discussion, review the survey data sets available through the ICPSR, using either its published directory or its Internet site.

  • Identify ICPSR data sets that might be used to study a research question.
  • State a career-related research question.
  • Use information in the ICPSR reports to determine whether the data set contains variables relevant to a research topic.
  • Explore the issues of confidentiality and anonymity.

Special Instructions:

Create a 1 page essay in APA format according to the instructions above. Use 3 scholarly sources including the ICPSR for references. Implement the four study questions into the assignment as Sub-headers and answer them accordingly. Be sure to utilize in-text citations.

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