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Finding Data and Statistics  

Last Updated: Oct 29, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Search Strategies

1. Data Archive/Repository

2. Statistics can lead to Data

  • Finding statistical analyses/visualizations can also lead to data sources
  • Search for statistics using Google Images and follow the image to the source
    • Where does the statistic you found come from?
    • Who created the statistic/visualization?
    • Can you track down the source or other data set?

3. Producers/Creators

  • When looking for data consider:
    • Who might collect this type of data?
    • Who might publish this type of data?
  • Examples
    • U.S. Government organizations, International Government Organizations,State/Local Government Organizations
    • Non-Governmental Organizations (Foundations, Think Tanks, Charities, Non-Profits)
    • Colleges/Universities/Research Organizations
    • Public and/or private companies
  • Figuring out who would collect/publish data can help you create an effective search strategy

4. Published Literature

  • Data is often linked directly to research publications in discipline-specific literature
  • Consider searching for research studies that conducted either primary or secondary analyses to see if data is publicly available; a good place to start is to search in NDSU's Library Databases

These four strategies are good starting points to find data.

If you need help developing a search strategy please email Jylisa Doney or Alicia Kubas.


Example Data Search Strategy

Below is an example of using a Unit of Analysis to create a search strategy for data

1. Data Archive/Repository

  • Sample search in Dryad: butterfly AND communit* AND ("united states" OR us OR usa)

2. Statistics can lead to Data

  • Sample search in Google Images: butterflies weather (data OR statistics)

3. Producers/Creators

  • Agencies/Organizations
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    • U.S. Department of Agriculture
    • Xerces Society
  • Researchers

4. Published Literature

  • Dissertations and/or research articles in the fields or agriculture, ecology, entomology, etc.

Get Help

Questions about Data and Statistics? Contact Jylisa Doney or Alicia Kubas.

You can also ask for help by using the chat window.

North Dakota State University Libraries
NDSU Dept #2080 PO Box 6050
Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Reference (701) 231-8886
Circulation (701) 231-8888

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