Using The Rand Corporation as a test case, this paper investigates the usefulness of a database management system (DBMS) for handling large social science datasets in a research environment. Topics covered include: (1) how social science datasets are used in a research environment; (2) the differences between research and business applications; and (3) possible DBMS configurations within a research environment. The author identifies and ranks features of a DBMS considered important by researchers, compares some commercially available DBMS, and concludes that there is a place for DBMS in the research environment.
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