This part of the guide identifies key collections of data that can be exported and analyzed in analytical software. In general, you can select microdata based on narrative descriptions and data documentation. See the aggregate data tab for data in tables, which often can be exported and combined for analysis.
Resources on this page are grouped under these headings: Overview of issues in locating data; Major data repositories; VT Library data services; International demographic/economic data collections, US-centric data repositories; Governance data collections; International electoral data portals, US social & opinion data collections; International social survey archives; Miscellaneous data collections, and guidance on citing data you use.
Data can be hard to work with. The VT libraries has a team of informatics consultants to help you with methodology, interpretation, visualization, and management/curation of your research data. Some tabs in this guide are maintained by members of the library's data service group.
It can be hard to describe, much less find, data you want. The VT library's Discovery Search does not distinguish data from other kinds of information. It won't help you identify aggregate numerical data in tables nor datasets of microdata analyzed with sophisticated quantitative or qualitative software.
We provide Data Planet both as a
It's tempting to start search engines to find numerical and geospatial data. This is a good start for finding what data exist about something. They may not be as effective if you're interested in the variety of data available about a place.
Compilations of data, such as RAND State Statistics, PolicyMap, and traditional statistical abstracts usually group aggregate data according to predefined themes that may reflect the goals and practices of the compilers rather than your own.
If you want to start by searching:
If you prefer to start by browsing by topic or place: