Title

Inferential Statistics and the Use of Administrative Data in US Educational Research

Keywords

Statistics, inference, regression, administrative data

Abstract

While the use of inferential statistics is a nearly universal practice in the social sciences, there are instances where its application is unnecessary and potentially misleading. This is true for a portion of research using administrative data in educational research in the United States. Surveying all research articles using administrative data published in Educational Researcherand American Educational Research Journal between 2011 and 2013, we find that over half use inferential techniques to help interpret results despite the use of population data. To the extent that these practices and findings are replicated and interpreted in the United States and elsewhere, this can lead to the undervaluing of potentially meaningful patterns and trends.

Original Publication Citation

Gibbs, Benjamin G., Kevin Shafer and Aaron Miles*. “Inferential Statistics and the Use of Administrative Data in Educational Research” International Journal of Research & Method in Education 40:214-220.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2014-08-19

Publisher

International Journal of Research & Method in Education

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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