University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications


Commonly used data-collection approaches in clinical research

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine; Department of Quantitative Health Sciences; Meyers Primary Care Institute

Publication Date


Document Type



Biomedical Research; Clinical Laboratory Techniques; Clinical Trials as Topic; Comparative Effectiveness Research; Data Collection; Epidemiologic Research Design; Humans; Interviews as Topic; Medical Records; Questionnaires; *Research Design; Self Report


Clinical Epidemiology | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


We provide an overview of the different data-collection approaches that are commonly used in carrying out clinical, public health, and translational research. We discuss several of the factors that researchers need to consider in using data collected in questionnaire surveys, from proxy informants, through the review of medical records, and in the collection of biologic samples. We hope that the points raised in this overview will lead to the collection of rich and high-quality data in observational studies and randomized controlled trials.


Citation: Saczynski JS, McManus DD, Goldberg RJ. Commonly used data-collection approaches in clinical research. Am J Med. 2013 Nov;126(11):946-50. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.04.016. Link to article on publisher's site

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


UMCCTS funding

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The American journal of medicine

PubMed ID