Research Guide: Statistics

This guide is a starting place to help you locate statistics on a variety of topics from many different sources

Locating statistics

Three strategies for finding statistics

  1. Many statistics are gathered by government agencies (for example, the U.S.Department of Energy) or large organizations (for example, The American Cancer Society). For more info on how to better locate these, consider looking at the "Web Data Tools" tab to the left.
  1. However, you can also find good statistics within books or journal, magazine or newspaper articles. Click on the next tab to learn more.
  1. When you find statistics, check the source of the data.  In other words, does the book, article or website list where the statistics came from?  Do they come from a reputable or well-known source?  If not, attempt to find statistics from a more trustworthy source.
 

Finding statistics in charts, graphs, and books

Sometimes statistics are "buried" within the text of  journal, magazine or newspaper

Articles or Books
  • As you research, take the time to skim through your findings to uncover these "buried  treasures"

  • Follow leads in the article to find other statistics (see example below):

(click on image to enlarge)

this is an image of a web article that shows a part of the text highlighted - in the text you can see statistics embedded.


Charts, graphs, and diagrams

Statistics are often found inside books and articles, namely, in the graphs, charts and diagrams within them. The image of the graph below is from a CQ Research report and is but one example of how you can locate find statistical information in larger information sources. 

(click on image to enlarge)

image shows an chart with stats that was pulled from the article

Image Source: Mantel, B. (2010, April 2). Breast cancer. CQ Researcher,  20, 289-312. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com

Searching in the library's databases

The databases below are great places to find articles from newspapers, magazines, and journals. Looking for statistics embedded within these articles can be helpful. 

Finding statistics

Sometimes statistics are "buried" within the text of  book, journal, magazine or newspaper. Try this search strategy when you are looking for articles from library databases.

  • Note This is only ONE search strategy and will not help you find all statistics on a topic. Sometimes statistics are buried within other articles that are not found using the search term"statistics"
Example in ProQuest databases:
  • As shown in the image below, you can start by choosing the advanced search option. 

  • You can then  search a keyword  or two for your topic. Here, in the first box, the word "obesity" is the keyword/topic.

  • Then in the next box you can add the word statistics and then limit that row to "SU Subject Terms."  

(click on image to enlarge)

screenshot of advanced search, showing how to limit to a Subject Terms, as outlined in the text before the image


Example in any Ebsco databases

In EBSCO's Academic Search Complete database, you can carry out a similar search as that above. 

  • As shown in the image below, you can start by choosing the advanced search option. 

  • You can then  search a keyword  or two for your topic. Here, in the first box, the word "obesity" is the keyword/topic.

  • Then in the next box you can add the word statistics and then limit that row to "SU Subject Terms."  

(Click on image to enlarge)

image of a screenshot of the search option in a database, showing how to search with keywords, how to limit by subject