POLI 691H: Honors Seminar in Research Design

Finding Data - Strategies

  • Define the specific elements of your question:  time, geography and subject matter.
  • Consider what organizations might pay for data collection on your topic.
    • government (international, national, state, local...)
    • trade associations
    • non-profits
    • academe (directly from a researcher or indirectly from a repository)
  • Read the literature for possible sources.
  • Will data be costly in terms of money or time to obtain?  Do you have the requisite knowledge to manipulate it?


You may not be able to find exactly what you'd like.  Be prepared to be flexible on one or more of your question elements.

Understanding Data

  • Read the technical documentation!
  • Consider the purpose for which data were collected, and their limitations.
  • Ask the experts.

Citing Data

Data Links

Getting Help


Odum Institute Short Courses: survey methodology, quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, statistical computing

Davis Library Research Hub: data visualization software, web mapping, Census data

Data Services Librarian

Michele Hayslett

Data Management
Numeric Data
Census Data
Locating Data
Website / Blog Page

Data Analyst

Matt Jansen
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(919) 962-3745

Davis Library
  • Last Updated: Jun 9, 2017 3:28 PM
  • URL: http://guides.lib.unc.edu/poli691h