How to do research in Statistics and Data

Library resources for researchers doing data intensive research in economics, political science and other social science disciplines



Topic-specific keywords will help improve your results in a general multidisciplinary database like Google, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, or Academic Search Premier


Add keywords like these to your search:


  • Subject terms – statistics, data
  • Topic terms – education, health, economics
  • Geographic terms – Europe, China




The best tool for your project may be a specialized search engine, also known as a database. These databases are subject-specific or format-specific search tools:


Statista (via HarvaryKey) – A searchable database of statistics, studies, dossiers, infographics and more. Sources of information include market research, trade publications, scientific journals, and government databases.

Proquest Statistical Insight (via HarvardKey) – Statistical tables from selected United States government publications, state government publications, business and association publications, and international inter-governmental sources.

Data Archives

Harvard Dataverse Network (via HarvardKey) – Includes the world's largest collection of social science research data. Collections include data sets from government entities, universities, and individual researchers. 

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) (via HarvardKey) – One of the world’s oldest and largest social science data archives; based at the University of Michigan. Categories of datasets include census enumerations; community and urban studies; economic behavior and attitudes; government structures, policies and capabilities; social indicators; and much more.


Dig Deeper

The Essential Resources for Locating and Using Numeric Data points to many helpful resources for finding statistics, datasets, and handbooks to statistical software.

Databases in Economics- explore the full list of Harvard Library databases in this subject category, including data and statistics.



Diane Sredl, Data Reference Librarian, is available to support researchers via email or in-person consultations for locating data and recommending resources for data analysis.  The Library also provides Data Visualization Support.


GSD Affiliates

Start with the Graduate School of Design Library’s Geospatial and Statistical Data Resources guide.

Service Alert:
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Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

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