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Social Science Data Resources: Getting started

Sources for locating published statistics on topics broadly related to the social sciences, as well as numeric datasets for statistical analysis.

in this guide

In this subject guide, you will find resources containing or connecting you to one or both of these forms of commonly sought numeric information in the social sciences:


Data is collected as part of a social science study – you can formulate questions and get answers by selecting variables of interest and analyzing them.  At the most granular level, directly as collected during a study, also called microdata. For statistical analysis, you typically use software such as SPSS, Stata, SAS, or Excel.  This form of information is meant to be used as input for a computer program, not for direct understanding through reading/viewing. 


"Statistics" refers to published results in form of tables, charts, maps, etc. – in effect, the answers to someone else’s formulated questions of a statistical nature. This form of information is generally delivered for your direct reading.  Statistics in electronic format, with a suitable layout for importing into a statistical analysis program, and enough records, can in turn become aggregate data that can be analyzed.

see also

Subject and course guides often contain information that will lead you to data or statistical resources in specific subject areas, and are also a great way to connect to subject librarians who can help you with specific requests.  

Data Librarian

Barbara Esty's picture
Barbara Esty
Marx Science and Social Science Library
219 Prospect St.
office: C42