Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition
Use this specialized Encyclopedia to identify background articles on the information system or technology you choose as the focus of your final research paper. Check the end of each article for citations to new sources.
How Do I Find Data & Statistics?
Data & Statistics Guide
This guide overviews the differences between data and statistics, covers how to find both, and discusses how to cite them.
Data-Planet Statistical Datasets
Data-Planet Statistical Datasets provides easy access to an extensive repository of standardized and structured statistical data. The Data-Planet repository contains more than 18.9 billion data points from more than 70 source organizations. The over 3.9 billion time series in Data-Planet provide immediate access to data presented in charts, maps, graphs, and table form, via multiple points of entry.
There are many different information sources out there but not all materials will be appropriate or useful for your assignment. To locate the best sources for your research project:
- Make sure you understand the requirements of your assignment. Some may require or exclude specific types of sources, while others may call for a mix. Ask your instructor if you are not sure.
- Review the information in the other two tabs of this box: Analyze Your Information Needs and Different Source Types.
To analyze your information needs, here are some questions to help you determine aspects of your topic that you might wish to explore and types of sources that may be appropriate.
Treatment of Topic / Perspective?
- Do you need overviews or broad coverage of your topic? Do you need a description of an event? If so, explore popular sources, such as magazines or newspapers.
- Do you need facts? Background information? Statistics? If so, you may want to try reference tools, statistical sources, or credible websites.
- Do you need current news or information about trends within a specific industry or type of business and/or information from practitioners in a specific field? If so, try trade journals.
- If you need more in-depth treatment of a topic that may include research studies, consult scholarly sources, such as scholarly journals or books.
- Is timeliness an issue? Do you need current information? If so, look for recent publication dates and newer editions.
- Do you need a historical perspective?
- Do you need a specific subject area or discipline such as business, health sciences, or humanities? Or perhaps a mix?
For example, if you are researching health insurance coverage for alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, would you look for information published in the field of business or for information in the health sciences or both?
There are many different types of information sources. This chart briefly describes a few of the more common source types.
When evaluating sources keep in mind the following:
Currency: The timeliness of the information.
Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.
Authority: The source of the information.
Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the informational content.
Purpose: The reason the information exists.
ABI/Inform Collection indexes articles in scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, trade journals, and regional business publications covering a wide variety of business and economics topics. Full text is available for approximately 4,000 titles, including the Wall Street Journal. Other content includes industry reports from BMI and Dun & Bradstreet, selected annual reports, and country economic reports. Also includes selected dissertations in the areas of business and economics as well as the ABI/Inform Archive, a historical database which contains complete runs of key business and management journals, such as Barron's, Journal of Accountancy, and the Academy of Management Journal.
Academic Search Complete
Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive scholarly, multi-disciplinary full-text database, with more than 7,000 full-text periodicals, including nearly 6,000 peer-reviewed journals. In addition to full text, this database offers indexing and abstracts for more than 11,000 journals and a total of more than 11,600 publications including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, etc. The database features PDF content going back as far as 1887, with the majority of full text titles in native (searchable) PDF format. Searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 journals.
ACM Digital Library
ACM Digital Library provides access to all ACM journals as well as selected journals and publications of ACM affiliated organizations, including conference proceedings. The ACM journal collections contains tables of content, abstracts, and selected full-text of journal articles.
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts with Full Text
Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) with Full Text provides full text of journal articles and indexing of books, research reports and conference proceedings. Subject coverage includes librarianship, classification, cataloging, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management, search engines, printed and electronic information sources, the information industry, scholarly communication, and electronic publishing. LISTA with Full Text coverage extends back as far as the mid-1960s.
Philosopher's Index offers informative, author-written abstracts covering scholarly research in all areas of philosophy. The literature covered goes back to 1940 and includes journal articles, books, book chapters such as contributions to an anthology and book reviews.