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Archival Data's Validity and Reliability

What sorts of validity and reliability issues, if any, might we encounter with archival data?

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Archival data is essentially data that has been collected and analyzed in the past. Given the historic nature of archival data, the variables that have been included in its data collection may not be clearly defined or up-to-date. Although, archival data can be a very useful source of secondary data, its validity and reliability can be questionable.

The following questions can be considered in determining the validity of archival data:
Are there any missing variables?
Was the data biased in any ...

Solution Summary

This response discusses the issues with validity and reliability in archival data. It explains what factors to examine in order to determine the validity of an archival data source.