Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update: Although the Gould Library building remains closed, the library staff continue our commitment to support the teaching and research needs of the Carleton community. Information on remote access to library resources and services will be updated regularly on the Remote Resources and Guidance for Library Users page and this FAQ. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need additional assistance.

IDSC 198: FOCUS Colloquium

For Professor Will Hollingsworth - Fall 2019

Getting Started with Data

There are a number of ways to approach finding data for this class. 

Starting with data you can find

Because there are times that the topic you're interested in won't have accessible data, it can be helpful to first start looking at the data that is already available and easy to access. Take a look at the tabs in this guide and follow the links to data publishers and repositories.  Explore what's there and see if any of the data piques your interest.

We'll do this in class as an exercise.


Looking for data on a specific topic

Before you jump in to searching for data, it's helpful to think about what it is you're looking for.  Ask yourself the following:

  1. What field of study would be interested in this topic?
  2. What can I say about the data or measures am I looking for?
  3. Who is likely to collect the data?
    Think about whether there are government agencies or labs or other groups that would have an interest in this data.
  4. Who is likely to share the data?

Again, there may be times when the topic you're interested in will not have any accessible data. Before you go too far down the road of committing to a topic, be sure that the data exists and is available to you.

General Library Resources

Welcome to the Laurence McKinley Gould Library!

This guide is an introduction to the library resources that you might want to use in this class.  The guide is focused (no pun intended) on data resources, but know that the library has many other resources for you to use throughout your time at Carleton.


Helpful links for navigating the library: