Library:Finding and Using Data for your Research/Find Data

From UBC Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Find Data

This is a guide to finding some of the best data sources that UBC can provide access to. For guidance on how to cite research data check out the Library Guide to Citing Data.

Click here to see the newest datasets that have been added to Abacus, the library's data catalogue.


Data sources in this guide are categorized by the general topic and type of data. Use the topic tabs above to view lists of sources.

Before using a data source in your research, you will need to check if there are any use restrictions. While data itself cannot be copyrighted, any product derived from that data can. This can apply to datasets as a whole, as well as charts and graphs created by online tools. There may also be privacy concerns related to the data itself, which would limit the ways the data can be used and shared. Users should always read the terms and conditions for each data source, especially if they intend to publish their research. Researchers should also cite the source of their data. If you have any questions about copyright, contact the UBC Copyright Office.

Data or Statistics?

Statistics are the interpretation and summary of data. If you are looking for a quick number to demonstrate “how much” or “how many” you may want a statistic. Statistics are typically presented in tables or charts, and they reflect someone’s interpretation of raw data.

Data are raw information from which statistics are derived. If you want to get the whole picture in order to develop your own interpretation of something, you may want data. Raw data is a primary source and generally results from surveys and other research methods. Data are usually available in machine-readable formats for use with software programs like Microsoft Excel, SPSS, SAS, or Stata.

In many databases and research guides, data and statistics are grouped together under a single title or heading.


Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) or "UBC Library Robot" by UBC Library Communications from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ubclibrary/7205952900/‎