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What is your unit of analysis?
Microdata – individual level
Macro/Aggregated – country, region, etc.
Survey – one-off, longitudinal
Time-series – variables over time
Geospatial – geographical co-ordinates
Text—emails, tweets, articles
See if the dataset or database provide a citation
Complete: how many missing values? Sample size?
Documented: Are the variables defined? Clear methodology?
Format: proprietary format, software?
Is the format and variables consistent over time?
Flexibility: can it be used with other data?
What is the repuation of the source? Do you know the publisher?
Is vendor support available? Look for documentation
Is this cited in top journals?
Is the source used by peers institutions/known researchers?