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Political Science

Important Data Guides for Political Science Students

Data Reference Worksheet

When searching for data it can feel like there is no method and you are just wandering around the web.  When we meet to discuss finding data, it can help to know that we are following a general framework laid out in this worksheet.

Noting Data Sources

At the very first stages of your literature review, start taking notes on potential data sources.  Make a habit of jotting down the data used in each study you read to make it faster when you come back later in your search for data.  Also, this practice can help you see and articulate how your contribution is unique.  You might want to keep these notes in a table like the following for easy reference.

Author(s) and Year of Publication Claim Data Dependent Variable/Estimation Technique Significant Findings


See an example of this practice in action:

Comparing Variables Across Datasets

In your search for data you may need to compare similar questions from several surveys. Below is a grid to help you keep track of this process.