Data and Statistics library research at UCSD

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Data and Statistics library research at UCSD

  1. 1. Finding Datasets and Statistics
  2. 2. First, what’s the difference?
  3. 3. Datasets are collections of numeric data that can be analyzed using specialized software such as Stata, SPSS, or R.
  4. 4. Statistics are numerical data that has been organized and interpreted, usually displayed in tables.
  5. 5. So what’s the deal with data?
  6. 6. What is Data? • Data are raw ingredients from which statistics are created. • Statistical analysis can be performed on data to show relationships among the variables collected. • Through secondary data analysis, many different researchers can re-use the same data set for different purposes.
  7. 7. Aggregate Data Is higher-level data that have been compiled from smaller units of data. • Examples: inflation rate, consumer price index, demographic data for city or state
  8. 8. Microdata • Data directly observed or collected from a specific unit of observation. • Contain individual cases, usually individual people, or in the case of Census data, individual households – Examples: • Census: the unit of observation is probably an individual, a household or a family. • Survey or poll: the responses of a single respondent
  9. 9. Datasets • A data set or study is made up of the raw data file and any related files, usually the codebook and setup files. • Most data sets require at least basic statistical or spreadsheet programs to use.
  10. 10. Types of data • Cross-Sectional - data that are only collected once. • Time Series study the same variable over time. • Longitudinal Studies describe surveys that are conducted repeatedly, in which the same group of respondents are surveyed each time.
  11. 11. Finding Datasets
  12. 12. 1. Think about who might collect the data. • Could it have been collected by a government agency? • A nonprofit or nongovernmental organization? • A private business or industry group? • Academic researchers?
  13. 13. 2. Look for publications that use the kind of data you’re looking for and that cite the dataset In other words, is the data you want mentioned in scholarly articles or government reports or some other source?
  14. 14. 3. Once you know that what you want exists, it's time to hunt it down. • Is it freely available on the web? • Or part of a package to which the library already subscribes? • Is it something we can buy? (And is it within the library's budget and can the purchase be made quickly enough to fit your timeframe?) • Can it be requested directly from the researcher?

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