Using an obscure dataset for dissertation?

  1. Obscure datasets can be a great opportunity if they allow you to see what others can't see (because they don't have those datasets). And then you can make a contribution that others can't.

  2. Nice, thanks for that. To be clear, it's a structure that hasn't been updated in 10 years, and has automated entries that haven't been monitored in 3 years. But I think the validity is there. I learned about it 10 years ago when it was cool, but attention has died down. Still I'm not likely to be the qual guy to prove (proof) the validity. I thought maybe my additions could help resuscitate it, should my research go that way, but i don't want to count on that.

  3. What really matters is whether one can extract interesting publishable science out of the data set that cannot be obtained from more common ones. But, really, this is a question you should be asking your PhD advisor.

  4. Yeah duh, gonna ask. Just wanted to check with a random group of strangers first since it just occurred to me. As long as I didn't get "you're a fucking fool!"

  5. in my field, it's easier to publish with less-known data (so long as you make the case for why that data is a good fit for your research question)

  6. If the data is properly collected, and passes validity checks as far as you are convinced, then it's all good. I built my own electronic dataset of data that was kept for 30 years only as hardcopy (OCR saved my life), and added something new to the field.

  7. Just as an update: I reached out to the PI who created the dataset and it turns out he's working on a new version that improves on the one I've used. He also will share some resources showing how it's being used today.

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