Murray Archive Cataloging Terms

The archive uses the following terms when describing sample characteristics, study collection methods, and data types. We use the Library of Congress subject headings (LCSH) to describe the subject of a study.

I. Sample Characteristics

A. Sample Size

    The number of subjects in the initial sample is coded. When subjects were studied as pairs, the number of pairs, not individuals, is indicated (e.g., mother-daughter or wife-husband pairs). When coding longitudinal studies, the coded number of subjects reflects the maximum obtained in any wave. Pilot or screening samples however, are not used to determine the sample size unless there is a substantial amount of information for them and they are considered an important part of the data set.

  • 50 or fewer

  • 51-100

  • 101-500

  • 501-1000

  • Over 1000

B. Time

    The year when the data were collected is recorded. Longitudinal studies conducted by the same researcher are coded for the span of all years in which the data collections took place. Waves of longitudinal studies conducted by different researchers are only coded for the time of follow-up data collection.

  • 18th century

  • 19th century

  • 1900-1939

  • 40s

  • 50s

  • 60s

  • 70s

  • 80s

  • 90s

  • 2000s

C. Race

    If the study is of a specific American ethnic or racial group or groups, such as Latina/Latino and white subjects, these categories are coded in the order of decreasing frequency. If the group is predominantly one or two races and there is a subsample of subjects of other races/ethnicities, the predominant groups and mixed are coded. Race and ethnicity are coded as defined by the contributor.

  • African American

  • Asian American

  • Latina/Latino

  • Native American

  • Pacific Islander

  • White

  • Multi-racial

  • Other

    • Race or ethnic group not covered by the above categories, for example, Jamaican American, African Canadian, French Canadian, any non-U.S.

  • Mixed

    • Sample is mixed randomly and representatively.

  • Not asked

    • No data on race was collected.

  • Not compiled

    • Information on race is available from the data but has not been compiled by the researcher.

D. Age

    Every age group sampled during the life of the study is coded. For example, if data were collected on subjects at age 5-6, 18-19, and 45-46, codes 0-5, 6-12, 18-22, and 40-49 are entered.

  • Prenatal

  • 0-5

  • 6-12

  • 13-17

  • 18-22

  • 23-29

  • 30-39

  • 40-49

  • 50-59

  • 60-69

  • 70+

  • Mixed

  • Heterogeneously mixed adults

E. Number of Generations

    The number of generations in the study sampled are coded. For example, if children or parents of target subjects are included in the study, then the study covers two generations. If both are in the study, along with the target subjects, then the study covers three generations.

  • 1

  • 2

  • 3

  • 4+

F. Gender

  • Female

  • Male

G. Socioeconomic Status (SES)

    If a study is of a specific socioeconomic group or groups, such as the working class or middle class, these categories are coded. This system of categorizing socioeconomic levels usually relies on occupational categories; however, individual studies may vary in their definitions of SES categories. Subjects who are retired or unemployed are listed according to the status of their previous occupational category. If a sample is random but over sampled for one SES group, it is coded as mixed and for the group which is over represented.

  • Middle

    • Professional, technical, managerial, sales, and clerical occupations.

  • Poverty

    • Those below the poverty line, AFDC recipients, etc.

  • Student

    • Sample consists of college students. Elementary and secondary school students are classified according to the social class of their parents.

  • Upper

    • Listing in Social Registers, attendance at elite secondary private schools, membership in elite, private clubs, inherited wealth, etc.

  • Working

    • Craft and service occupations, and operatives.

  • Mixed

    • Sample is of mixed socioeconomic groups.

  • Not asked

    • No data on socioeconomic status was collected.

  • Not compiled

    • Information on social class is available from the data but has not been compiled by the researcher.

II. Data Collection Methods

A. Design

  • Case study/oral history

    • The focus of the research is the in-depth study of individual people. There is extensive, detailed information on each subject.

  • Cross-sectional

    • Subjects of different ages, or of the same age but different birth cohorts, are given identical measures to identify differences due to age or cohort. For example, 20-year olds in 1930 and 20-year olds in 1970 are given the same measure and the comparison of the cohorts is the focus; or 10, 15, and 20-year olds are assessed at the same time and the focus of the comparison is on age differences.

  • Field experiment

    • Data are collected in natural settings, and independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter under as carefully controlled conditions as the situation will permit. Comparison groups are likely to be naturally existing groups rather than constructed through random assignment.

  • Field study

    • Inquiries aimed at discovering the relations and interactions among variables as they occur naturally. The researcher is looking for relationships and testing hypotheses in actual situations as they occur in communities, families, schools, organizations, and institutions. The sample may or may not include comparison groups and is not designed to be representative.

  • Follow-up

    • Subjects who have been studied previously are recontacted and reassessed by a different researcher.

  • Hereditary

    • In this type of study the design is intended to allow the researcher to trace the genetic component of behaviors or physical attributes as they mature or manifest themselves over time. For example, twin studies and adoption studies are coded in this category.

  • Institutional records

    • Studies in which records obtained from an institution are used as the data source. These may include election returns; hospital, school, or prison records; financial reports; and alumnae records.

  • Laboratory experiment

    • A study in which all possible extraneous influences on the variable of interest are kept to a minimum. This is accomplished by isolating the participants in a laboratory and manipulating one or more independent variables under rigorously specified and controlled conditions. A control group is always included and subjects are randomly assigned to experimental and control groups.

  • Longitudinal

    • Studies in which the subjects are assessed repeatedly (at least twice) by the same researcher to look at continuity and change over time. This category does not include instances where several sessions of data collection are spread out over time if the purpose of these intervals is to avoid overload in a single session rather than to examine change over time.

  • Replication

    • A study is repeated with a different subject pool, and the results from the two assessments are compared. The conditions of the new study must be very similar to the original to be included in this category.

  • Survey

    • Large or small populations are studied by selecting representative samples with the aim of discovering interrelations among variables in that population. The purpose is to obtain an accurate assessment of characteristics of a whole population by studying a carefully selected sample.

B. Length of Data Collection

    Coded for longitudinal studies only. This is the length of time from the initial year of data collection through the most recent year of data collection.

  • 1-2 years

  • 3-5 years

  • 6-10 years

  • 11-20 years

  • 21-50 years

  • Over 50 years

  • Not Applicable (na)

  • Not a longitudinal study.

C. Measures

  • Behavioral observations

    • Behavior is observed and coded or evaluated for various characteristics. The behavior can be observed directly or as recorded on audiotape, videotape, or film. This category also includes quantified evaluations of a subject's performance by teachers, peers, parents, and others.

  • Institutional records

    • Records obtained from private or public institutions are analyzed as data. Examples include voting records, government records, teacher reports, hospital records, and election returns.

  • Interview

    • This category includes both open-ended and closed-ended interviews. The interview may be conducted either face-to-face or by telephone.

  • Medical exam

    • Data are records from an examination by a medical professional for overall physical functioning or specific symptomatology and specific laboratory tests.

  • Psychological tests

    • Study includes scales or tests of personality, psychological development and functioning, or other psychological variables. Examples are projective tests, standardized personality tests, cognitive measures, achievement and aptitude tests, intelligence tests, and adjective checklists.

  • Questionnaire

    • This category includes both open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires.

  • Other

    • Measures or data sources other than those listed above. For example, diaries, psychiatric evaluation, and clinical case notes.

III. Follow-up

A. Follow-up Possible

  • Yes

    • Permission for follow-up has been granted by the original contributor. Restrictions may be specified by the contributor.

  • No

    • Permission for follow-up has not been granted by the original contributor.

B. Follow-ups available through the Murray Center

  • Yes

    • Data from one or more follow-ups of this sample are available at the Murray Center. This refers to this study's particular sample rather than to the original study.

  • No

    • No follow-up of this sample has been conducted or follow-up data are not available at the Center.

IV. Type of Data

  • Computer

    • Computerized data are available.

  • Microfiche

    • Microfiche copies of original records are available.

  • Paper

    • Original subject records are available.

  • Videotape

    • Videotaped data are available.

  • Audiotape

    • Audiotaped data are available. Some restrictions may apply.