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Political Science

This guide will introduce you to resources you can use when doing research in political science.

Why Use Data and Statistics?

graphic of a bar graphData and statistics can be great sources of information.

  • Use them to support your argument
  • Find quantitative evidence
  • Don't forget to cite data and statistics
  • But, it can be tricky to find the information you want

Websites

Think about where you might find the type of information you are looking for, and what type of organization might be collecting and sharing that information.

Examples include:

Government agencies

Non-profit organizations, think tanks, and policy groups

Inter-governmental organizations

Hint: Look for tabs or options on the website for "data," "statistics," "reports," or "publications."

Statistical Databases

The library subscribes to a couple of statistical databases, which are good places to start.

Google Search

To search for data and statistics in Google, try the following:

Type in your topic, add the word "data" or "statistics" and then add "site:.gov" or "site:.edu" to limit the results to only those with a .gov or .edu domain name.

If you want to only recieve Excel files or PDFs, you can limit the Google search by add "filetype:.pdf" or "filetype:.xls"

Take a look at this example search and note the search results: 

google resutls for the search [education reform data site:.gov]