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How To Find Social Sciences Data  

This guide highlights library and internet-based resources for social science data and research.
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Reference Desks

Undergraduate (UGL): 313-577-8852
Purdy/Kresge: 313-577-6423
Arthur Neef Law: 313-577-6180
Shiffman Medical: 313-577-1094



Welcome to the guide for Social Sciences Data!

This guide serves as a useful starting place for information on Social Sciences Data. The Library has assembled a core collection of resources available through the Wayne State University Library System, in addition to some high quality, freely available web resources. This guide is a collaborative work-in-progress, developed with the suggestions and feedback from students and faculty.

Below are some general social science statistical resources that may serve as great starting points for research or inquiry for any subject. For more specific sources, check out the subject sections, which can be accessed using the colored tabs at the top of the page.






  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research  
    ICPSR is a serves member colleges and universities by providing access to a large archive of machine-readable social science data, training facilities in basic and advanced techniques of quantitative social analysis, and resources that facilitate the use of advanced computer technology by social scientists. The primary mission of the ICPSR Web site is to provide to the social science research community efficient search capabilities to facilitate quick and easy access to data.
  • Social Science Data Analysis Network
    The Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN) is a university-based organization that creates demographic media, such as user guides, web sites, and hands-on classroom computer materials that make U.S. census data accessible to policymakers, educators, the media, and informed citizens.
  • Social Science Gateways on the Net
  • Henry A. Murray Research Archive
    The Henry A. Murray Research Archive is the endowed, permanent repository for quantitative and qualitative research data at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, and provides physical storage for the entire IQSS Dataverse Network. (Click on "Find Data" to begin search.)
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
    The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research is one of the world's leading archives of social science data, specializing in data from surveys of public opinion. The data held by the Roper Center range from the 1930s, when survey research was in its infancy, to the present.
  • 30 Resources to Find the Data You Need
    List from the Flowing Data blog, highlighting data sources from Universities, News Sources, Geographic Data, Sports, World, Government & Politics, and General Sources, as well as tips on getting data from an API and through web page scraping. FlowingData explores how statisticians, designers, and computer scientists are using data to help us understand more about ourselves and our surroundings.
  • Pew Research Center
    Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides data on issues, trends, attitudes, and developments that impact impact America and the rest of the globe. You can view and download a number of different datasets for analysis and review


  • Lexis-Nexis Statistical Universe  
    *See Proquest Statistical Insight

    Provides abstracts and indexes of statistical information from over 100,000 U.S. government publications from 1973, state and private sources from 1980, and approximately 2000 documents from international organizations from 1983. Incorporates ASI subject and keyword searching. Full text or web links provided for some citations.

  • Social Sciences Citation Index  
    Over 2,474 journals across 50 social science disciplines, as well as 3,500 of the world's leading scientific and technical journals, to 1956.

Federal Government

  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
    The Statistical Abstract of the United States, published since 1878, is the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. Use the Abstract as a convenient volume for statistical reference, and as a guide to sources of more information both in print and on the Web.Sources of data include the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies and private organizations.
  • FedStats
    FedStats, which has been available to the public since 1997, provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic. With convenient searching and linking capablilties to more than 100 agencies that provide data and trend information on such topics as economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production and more, FedStats is your one location for access to the full breadth of Federal statistical information.
  • United States Census Bureau
    "The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers." Click on "American FactFinder" for easy access to Census information.
  • Federal Electronic Research and Review Extraction and Tabulation Tool (FERRETT)
    A tool for social scientists provided by the Federal government, DataFerrett is a unique data mining and extraction tool. DataFerrett allows you to select a databasket full of variables and then recode those variables as you need. You can then develop and customize tables. Selecting your results in your table you can create a chart or graph for a visual presentation into an html page. Save your data in the databasket and save your table for continued reuse.

Test Books


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