Formatting thesis using someone else’s data

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Winchester0206
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 6:37 pm

Formatting thesis using someone else’s data

Post by Winchester0206 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:49 pm

Hi, I’m working with a PhD student’s dataset for my Masters thesis. They’ve found a certain set of results that my research will aim to look into.

I’m struggling with the format. I have googled variations of using secondary data and conducting follow-up research but I’m only pulling up articles on avoiding plagiarism.

I’m not sure where exactly I should include the fact that it’s looking into someone else’s research. I have also rewritten her method section since I’m using all the same participants, however some things don’t apply to my research, for example, some of the measures she uses. Do I exclude this entirely or say somewhere that the original research included XYZ?

She also hasn’t published her research yet, whereas my thesis has to be submitted soon. So I’m not even sure how to reference her paper.

Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you.

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alexh
Posts: 391
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Formatting thesis using someone else’s data

Post by alexh » Tue Sep 04, 2018 9:58 am

Secondary analysis is very common, you should be able to find some published examples fairly easily I would've thought. The format is essentially the same as any other paper or thesis though.

Personally, I like to see the situation made explicit and the main article referred to, it helps to avoid double-counting in later reviews and meta-analyses. I don't understand why some authors don't make it clear. You can also explain what has happened in the method section. I wish it were clear from article titles but it is not always. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311114/

I would probably not include any irrelevant measures, those you are not reporting in your results, although some papers do briefly direct people to the primary analysis, which can be helpful. I imagine word count may guide this decision. I wonder if you might need to say a little more about it if it is unpublished.

If the other paper is not published you reference it as you would any other unpublished work following the relevant guidelines.

Winchester0206
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 6:37 pm

Re: Formatting thesis using someone else’s data

Post by Winchester0206 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 1:44 pm

@alexh Okay, that makes sense. Thank you for your help, appreciate the link :)

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