CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS
OFFICE OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND IMPROVEMENT 
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


SUBJECT: STANDARD FOR SURVEY DOCUMENTATION            
EFFECTIVE DATE: 12/08/86   CES STANDARD 86-04-01
                                   
PURPOSE:   To ensure that data released by CES are documented in a consistent manner.    
                                   
Documentation must allow the non-statistical user to understand the limitations and quality of the data. Researchers must have more specific and detailed documentation of the data to permit independent verification and analysis.
                                   
Written detailed documentation must be available on all major surveys conducted or supported by CES. Topics to be included are provided on the attached checklist, and summarized below:
                                   
  o Abstract: purpose, target population, time and geographic coverage, and contact person or office.
                                   
  o Status of data: current status (preliminary, revised or final) and relation to previous surveys in series;        
                                   
  o Methodology and data preparation: definitions, sample selection, data collection process, data reduction and estimation, extent of editing and its effects;
                                   
  o Sampling and non-sampling errors: methods for estimating and adjusting for errors.  
                                   
  o Guidelines for using the data: major caveats, use of weights, use of statistical packages, related surveys and research.      
                                   
RELATED STANDARDS                              
                                   
  o CES Standard for Data Tape Preparation, 87-03-07                  
  o CES Standard for Technical Documentation in Data Releases, 87-04-02          
                                   
RELATED CHECKLISTS, FORMS AND DOCUMENTS                        
                                   
    Survey Documentation Checklist, 87-04-01