Skip to main content

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.

Subject specialists

Please contact one of us if you need assistance in finding social science data.

Lu ChouSenior Special LibrarianDISC

Thomas DurkinAnthropology, Folklore, & Sociology Librarian

Charlie FissSenior Special LibrarianDISC

Beth HarperGovernment Information Reference Librarian, Memorial Library