Skip to Main Content

MS8: NYC Trip 2023

Finding Data and Statistics

1. Think about who might collect the data.

  • Could it have been collected by a government agency?
  • A nonprofit/nongovernmental organization?
  • A private business or industry group?
  • Academic researchers?

2. Look for publications that cite the dataset

  • e.g. scholarly articles or government reports.

3. Once you know that what you want exists, it's time to hunt it down.

  • Is it freely available on the web? Check Google—you never know!
  • Or part of a package to which the library already subscribes?
  • Can it be requested directly from the researcher? There’s a reason articles usually include author contact information

What is the difference between a dataset and a study?

dataset is a building block of a data collection or study. It is a file containing cases or observations, and the data collected for each case are presented in a grid format.

study is a detailed investigation and analysis of subjects or situations. It is a collection of data containing one or more datasets, as well as codebooks, data collection instrument files, reports, and other related materials, associated with each dataset.