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Finding Social Science Data for Research : Data vs. Statistics

This research guide provides an introduction to using campus resources, government agencies, and consortia like ICPSR for finding and obtaining social science data.

Data

Defined as:

  • "Disaggregated" collection of observations with one or more characteristics
  • Generally require manipulation or extraction using utilities
  • Can be values or observations of characteristics "numerically coded"
  • Raw material for statistics

 

From: McCaffrey, Mike. “International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community.” Presentation at the American Library Association’s Government Information Round Table Pre-Conference, International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community, Chicago, IL, June 28, 2013.

Statistics

Defined as:

  • "Aggregated" and tabulated or cross-tabulated tallies based on data
  • Counts, tallies, totals, "averages"
  • Can be found in print or electronically
  • Normally used as they are presented or retrieved
  • "Facts numerically represented"

 

From: McCaffrey, Mike. “International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community.” Presentation at the American Library Association’s Government Information Round Table Pre-Conference, International Statistics: Helping Library Users Understand the Global Community, Chicago, IL, June 28, 2013.

 

 

How to Find on the Libraries Web Site

Go to: University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

A.) In "Databases" list:

1. From homepage click "Find" in upper left corner

2. Select "Databases"

3. Under "By Type", click "Datasets" or "Statistics"

B.) In Subject Guides:

1. From homepage click "Find" in upper left corner

2. Select "Research Guides" 

2. Click "Subject Guides"

3. Click "Datasets" or "Statistics"