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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

Identifying Your Perspectives
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Researchers come to the Library looking for different types of health statistics.

Key steps:
  • To understand your requirements in the context of how these materials are structured.
  • Match your expectations with an understanding of how health statistics are created, stored and made available.

Different research projects require different types of material. A research project might need:
  • A fact or number to illustrate a point
  • A published report or table that has more detailed information drawn from statistics
  • Summaries that can be transformed or analyzed using a spreadsheet or other computer program
  • Full datasets containing individual observations pertaining to people, providers or payers
  • Methods materials such as descriptions of survey methods or reports of the sources of statistical uncertainty

The type of supporting material needed and the standards for acceptable results depends on the type of material you need.
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