About Datasets

Social Science Datasets are collections of numeric data compiled by researchers that can be analyzed using statistical software programs, such as: Excel, Stata, SPSS, SAS and R.

If you are using Stata, The W&L Guide to Stata, co-authored by Professor Blunch and Carol Karsch, the Data & Statistical Specialist in Leyburn Library is a helpful resource that covers data management, running regressions and postestimation commands.  

This guide lists many frequently used datasets arranged by subject area.

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an interdisciplinary database that includes many, many subject areas.

Tips for Finding Data

Depending upon your topic, data may be readily available or it may require some creative searching to locate it. In fact, it may be unavailable to you! This is why it pays to locate data sources very early in a research project.

  • Use your Literature Review articles, did the researchers cite sources for the data they used?
  • Is the data: U.S. data, international data, country specific or from many different countries?
  • Who may have compiled the data: a governmental agency, a non-governmental organization, a researcher, etc.?
  • or StateMaster may be helpful, since the source for a selected statistic is given at the bottom of the table.

Once you locate a potential source for the data,

  • Is it freely available from a government agency or non-profit organization?
  • Is it available from one of the resources to which the University Library subscribes?

If your searches fail to find a source for the data,

  • Will the researchers make the data they used available to you?