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Information literacy: I am looking for data


Not all information you need on a particular subject is easy to find in ncyclopaedias, handbooks, monographs or journal articles. There are special databases containing available factual data. The data may be statistics, data relating to countries, or business/company data.

Data are used to substantiate an argument, as comparison material for an analysis (e.g. a market analysis) or as a point of reference for a work process or company process. If you use data you need to refer to the databases where you found them.

When you use data for your research you have to cite these, like you would do for literature you have consulted. You can do this by referring to the relevant databases. In many cases you can export the data from those databases so that you can process them yourself.

Research data

Most scientific research produces research data. These research data may take the form of calculations, test results and random tests, statistical data, models, reports, interviews, film and video etc. Primary publications(dissertations, reports, academic articles) generally contain such research data, or refer to them. 

In the previous chapters you have learned how to find articles and reports. Dissertations can be found in SmartCat. RUG dissertations can also be found in the University's online repository. Other universities in the Netherlands have similar repositories (NARCIS) 

Nowadays, researchers are expected to upload their (raw) research data to a data archive after finishing their research. Examples of data archives are DANS and Dataverse.

Statistical data

Statistics relating to the Netherlands can be found in Statline, the database of Statistics Netherlands (CBS, Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek).

International statistics can be found in databases such as Eurostat (European Commission), OECDiLibrary (OECD), UNdata (UN) and World Development Indicators (World Bank). These can be found on the Library portal in the electronic databases list.

Also, a list of statistics databases and information about countries is provided.