The feasibility and challenge of using administrative data: a case study of historical prisoner surveys

Anthony Quinn, David Denney, Nicholas Hardwick, Rahul Jalil, Rosie Meek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The benefits of government administrative data are well-established, but
research has not examined processes by which these data can be identified, organised and governed in line with ethical considerations. This is an
important undertaking given the potential benefits of robust administrative data, especially at a time when the collection of primary data has been
made more challenging due to COVID-19 restrictions. We use principles of
Big Data to characterise a large operational data set comprised of
responses from a prisoner survey about experiences of detainment in
England and Wales. These findings are discussed in relation to future
research with administrative data and the value that historical survey
data can provide to various beneficiaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

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