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Research Data: Finding Statistics and Datasets

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Jess Newman
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Associate Professor
Research Data & Scholarly Communications Lead
UTHSC Health Sciences Library
Lamar Alexander Building
877 Madison Avenue
Memphis, TN 38163

Finding Statistics and Data Sets

Highlighted Tool: Explore mapping health data and more with PolicyMap!

PolicyMap is a browser-based mapping tool that provides access to a wealth of data concerning physical health, infant and maternal health, uninsured populations, various federal programs, and the location of health facilities such as hospitals and FQHCs. In addition, the tool includes a broad array of data related to Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), such as demographics, income, healthy food access, the economy, housing, public transportation, and more.

Learn more by watching a recorded webinar.

Tips for Finding and Using Data

  1. When searching for data think about who would collect this data. Clinicians? Government agencies?
  2. Pay attention to the data sources used in books and articles from your literature review.
    • Did the authors deposit their research data in a repository? (Learn more about data sharing and new funder mandates)
    • Even if they don't share their research data, you may find "Data available upon request" statements for possible case by case use.
  3. When you find a relevant data set learn as much as you can about it before beginning any analyses.
    • Always read the codebook, paying particular attention to data definitions!
    • Read publications that used that data set and note how those researchers used the data.
  4. The BERD clinic supports faculty researchers doing statistical analysis. 
  5. The Health Science Library can help you with data visualization and cleaning tools.
  6. Cite the data set! Data is an increasingly important product of research and can contribute significantly to a researcher's scholarly reputation. The APA 7 outlines examples and guidance for citing datasets. Make sure to include the following elements:
    • who created the dataset
    • what the dataset is named
    • what year the dataset was published or released
    • what version of the dataset was used
    • where the dataset is hosted
    • what unique identifiers have been assigned to the dataset, such as a Digital Object Identifer (DOI) or Archival Resource Key (ARK)
    • what date the dataset was accessed

Data Sources