If you re-use data in your research, make sure you cite them appropriately.
Define what you look for in terms of
- Who or what you would like to study
- Which period do you want to study
- Which geographic location you will analyse
Not every topic can be covered with available data, as these data might not have been collected or are hidden behind a paywall.
Where to find datasets
- Data repositories: re3data.org provides you a list of almost 2000 databases that provide data. You can filter according to subject, content type, countries or access restrictions.
- Data Citation Index: A database part of the Web of Knowledge that indexes several millions of datasets.
- Most of the datasets available through the Data Citation Index can also be found through DataCite. DataCite’s search is available for free.
- Google currently provides a free dataset search as a beta service.
If you could not find a suitable dataset through one of the databases mentioned above, identify an organisation that might collect and publish the data you are interested in. Government and non-government agencies increasingly make their datasets openly available. Furthermore, datasets might be linked from publications, so try searching relevant literature for relevant references.