Guide to Data: Find Data
When you need data, you have two option: find and reuse a dataset, or collect your own. To find data, you might first ask yourself:
What kind of data do I need? Under what parameters (time, size, population, etc.)?
Once you can describe what data you're looking for, ask: who would collect this kind of data? Local, state, or federal government? Businesses and organizations? Scholars and researchers?
When you know what you're looking for and who might hold the data, you can begin to search. Google is an excellent starting place.
A search for your topic + data (i.e.: smokers by state and age data, child poverty over time data) may bring up obvious sources.
Alternatively, you might read an article or book that shows a data visualization or mentions a statistic. Look for the relevant dataset citation in their references, then locate that dataset using Google or one of the library databases.
Discipline-specific data sources are listed in the drop-down menu for this page.
Feeling stuck? Not sure how to get started? Contact your liaison librarian for assistance!
General Data Repositories
The list of data repositories below is not exhaustive. Some are fully open, and others require GVSU affiliation. To find disciplinary-specific repositories for areas like humanities, business, and education, select the drop-down menu on the page for Find Data.
- Registry of Research Data RepositoriesA global registry of research data repositories. The registry covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines.
- FigShareFigshare is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available, citable, shareable and discoverable.
- DataverseThe Dataverse Project is an open source web application to share, preserve, cite, explore, and analyze research data.
- Open Data RepositoriesResource list from the Open Access Directory, listing data repositories by subject/discipline.
- Qualitative Data RepositoryThe Qualitative Data Repository (QDR) is a dedicated archive for storing and sharing digital data (and accompanying documentation) generated or collected through qualitative and multi-method research in the social sciences and related disciplines.
- Data Planet This link opens in a new windowData-Planet Statistical Datasets aggregates over 590 licensed and public domain datasets provided by over 50 sources and makes that data available from within a single interface. Users scan the contents of these datasets, select subjects and variables of interest, and view the data in side-by-side tables and charts.
- Statista This link opens in a new windowStatista provides users with an innovative and intuitive tool for researching quantitative data, statistics and related information. It provides access to data from market and opinion research institutions, as well as from business organizations and government institutions in English, French, German and Spanish. The platform consists over 1,500,000 statistics on over 80,000 topics from more than 18,000 sources.
A Note on Language
When you look for data, you might find that common search terms that help locate relevant sources may not be the same terms you use in your study and research. These terms (used in headers, titles and descriptions of sources) may carry different connotations to different groups and may not be the most respectful or accurate choices, particularly in the case of historical data. When presenting your research, you get to decide what terms to use and how to define them.
- Last Updated: Mar 22, 2023 9:52 AM
- URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/dataguide