Analysing secondary data (quantitative): Going beyond the published results

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Grendon 151, Grendon IT Centre, Park Campus

The University of Northampton

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Analysing secondary data (quantitative): Going beyond the published results

Catherine Fritz, Graham Smith, Prof Chris Roe, Amar Cherchar

It is surprisingly common for authors of research articles not to fully understand their own data; secondary analysis of reported findings can reveal important conclusions that they have overlooked. Building from basic descriptive statistical concepts (central tendency, variability), we will explore the usefulness of confidence intervals and effect sizes for interpreting and comparing statistical data. We will describe how these statistics can be gleaned or derived from most published research and introduce some of the basic ideas related to meta-analysis. The session will include practical activities and we will encourage students to work with literature in their own research areas.

Learning objectives:
At the end of the session, students will
• Be familiar with the use of confidence intervals as a descriptive and interpretive tool
• Be familiar with common estimates of effect size and their descriptive and interpretive usefulness
• Have hands-on experience producing these statistics for published research and using them to better understand those results
• Be aware of the benefits of comparing or otherwise bringing together the results of published studies as well as cautions and concerns about doing so
• Be aware of the process of meta-analysis and questions to ask when encountering them.


This workshop is open to any student currently registered on a research degree programme at the University of Northampton. Further information is available from Simone Apel (simone.apel@northampton.ac.uk; 01604 893418).