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Data & Statistical Resources at the UTM Library

Ask these questions when searching for Data

1. What is the Geography or Area you are looking at for your data study?  Are you looking at local neighbourhoods like Streetsville, whole cities such as Mississauga, regions like the Greater Toronto Area, provinces or countries?.

2. What is your time period?  Do you need the most recent or historical data?

3. What is your population or unit of measurement?  Are you looking at total numbers of people, households, women, youth, etc.?

4. What specific variables are you looking for? (age ranges, income, education, etc)

5. What is your ultimate objective with the data?  How will you be using/presenting the data? (Use it in a paper, present in a slideshow, compare with other data, etc)

6. Do you need the data for use in software? Any specific electronic formats? (Excel, NVivo, SPSS, etc)

Sources for Research Data

  • National Statistical Agencies
    • For example, Statistics Canada produces the census every 5 years, plus hundreds of individual, household, business, and social surveys.
  • Federal & Provincial Departments & Ministries may collect and disseminate their own data through their websites
  • Municipal Governments will often have lots of local statistics on population, local economy, environment, etc. often times these will be on their website, but also in pdf reports
  • Open Data Collections
  • NGO Data Repositories
    • For example, Roper and the Pew Research Centres offer non-partisan public opinion data on a wide range of social topics
  • Institutional Repositories (Publications and Datasets)
    • For example, the University of Toronto has TSpace and Dataverse holding research materials generated by university researchers.
  • Disciplinary/Subject data Repositories
    • For example, ICPSR is one of the world's leading social science research data archives 
    • The re3data.org is a worldwide registry of data repositories
  • Federated Repositories