Data, Data, Everywhere

But How Do I Find What I Need?

Brookens Library provides access to a number of resources that contain data and statistics to aid researchers and students.  A vast amount of statistical data is produced by government agencies and freely available. These resources are not highlighted in this post which is focused on those resources to which the library subscribes.  Many of these resources draw upon government information, but provide additional support by summarizing the data, providing additional indexing, or enhanced search functionality. 

The library has six major statistical resources. We’ve highlighted them below with information that will help you determine which source will best meet your needs.  If you need statistics or data, check out these resources, and for assistance with your research, set-up an appointment with a librarian. 

Statistical Abstract of the United States 

Statistical Abstract of the United States provides a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States, providing a snapshot of America and its people. These summaries also serve to lead users to other sources for more complete data related to their topic. This database has been updated annually by the federal government since 1878.  The Statistical Abstract of the United States is one of the best-known statistical reference publications and serves as both an answer book and a guide to statistical sources. This database Includes 1400+ individually indexed tables (with attached spreadsheets) that are searchable and browsable. 

Historical Statistics of the United States

Historical Statistics of the United States includes statistics about the United States from the colonial times up to the start of the 21st century. It provides U.S. population, economic, employment, governance and international relations data. You can even create and save custom tables.  It has long been the standard source for quantitative indicators of American history. Some of the additional topics include data on American Indians, slavery, outlying areas, poverty, nonprofit organizations, and the Confederate States of America. 

Statistical Insight

This database is designed to find and retrieve statistical content.  It provides access to tables and citations to statistics produced by the U.S. federal, state and local governments, international governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. It spans millions of full-text reports and more than 1 million published tables on thousands of different topics. It also offers broad perspectives and insight on long-term national trends and implications paired with the ability to narrow results. Whether you are looking for tables, statistical reports, publication abstracts, or datasets, results are ranked by relevance. Faceted search results can then be filtered by document type, source, date published, geographic area, and more.

Economist Intelligence Unit

The Economist Intelligence Unit is an excellent source for international statistical data especially related to economics, politics, and governmental information.  It provides full-text access to quantitative and qualitative data and forecasts political, economic, and business climates for various regions and up to 200 countries, as well as related news, analysis, and risk factor assessments. This database, produced by the research and analysis division of The Economist Group, was created in 1946 with the purposes of helping businesses, financial firms, and governments to understand how the world is changing and how that creates opportunities to be seized and risks to be managed. 

Sage Business Stats

SAGE Business Stats offers historic, current, and projected demographic and industry data points down to the zip-code level. Users can compare data within one variable or across variables using tables and line graphs; access interactive maps with timelines at the state, county, zip-code, city, and metropolitan statistical area levels; and export charts, graphs, and tables as well as the data itself.

ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research

UIS is an institutional member of the ICPSR which serves as the largest archive and repository of digital social science data. An integral part of the infrastructure of social science research, ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction (over 8,000 discrete studies/surveys with more than 65,000 datasets).  ICPSR supports students, instructors, researchers, and policy makers who: conduct secondary research to support primary research findings or generate new findings; preserve and disseminate primary research data; study or teach statistical methods in quantitative analysis; and develop funding proposals for grants or contracts that require a data management plan.  ICPSR also encourages deposits of digital data. Deposits are made using a secure data deposit workspace to describe the data collection and upload content.  More information on the depositing of digital data can be found at https://deposit.icpsr.umich.edu/deposit/home.  ICPSR accepts replication datasets for researchers who need to publish their raw data in relation to a journal article, so that other researchers can replicate the findings. Because ICPSR does not approve or alter datasets in any way, studies archived as replication datasets tend to appear on their website more quickly.

Using Library Databases on the Job Hunt

You’ve used library databases for research papers before, but they can also help you as you search for jobs and internships – whether you are trying to find information on potential employers for the Career Connections Expo or want some extra talking points for a scheduled interview.  

If you want to know more about potential employers, and you want to go beyond what you can find on the company’s website and some quick Google searching, here are some suggestions for library resources that can help you get to better know a company. 

Research the companyBusiness Source Complete is a great place to start if looking for a basic overview of a public company (think large companies like Target, Boeing or Accenture). You can usually find a description of the company, financial information and executive biographies. Many profiles include SWOT reports, which summarize the strengths and weaknesses of a business and the opportunities and threats it faces.  

To find a company profile or SWOT analysis, type in the company name in the main search bar and see what pops up in the results. Alternatively, click on “Company Information” in the blue banner at the top and search for your company there. 

Know the industry. If you are planning to work in a specific industry, it can be useful to get to know what trends are driving progress within that sector. Business Source Complete provides free industry reports to help you get to know the top companies, see the market forecast and become familiar with the terminology being used within the industry.  

To find an industry profile, search for the industry and limit your search to the source type of “Industry Profiles.” For example, if you are going to work for a hospital or pharmaceutical company, run a search for “healthcare industry” and find a current industry report among the results for your chosen country.  

Read the news. While you can easily find recent company news on Google, you can also find both national and regional newspapers in the library’s databases. Not all newspapers can be accessed for free on the web so it can be useful to search Brookens Library’s newspaper databases, which include the New York Times and Newspaper Source

If you have any questions about using any of the library’s databases, ask one of our librarians

Black History Month Resources

February is Black History Month.  This long-standing tradition evolved from the efforts of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) founded in 1915.  This organization sponsored Negro History week in 1926.  The fact that we celebrate Black History Month in the same month of Frederick Douglass’ and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays is not a coincidence.  By the late 1960s the week of recognition had evolved into a month of recognition and starting in 1976, beginning with President Gerald Ford, it has been recognized by every President since.  For a fuller history on the significance of Black History Month and its origins, check out the article, “Historical Significance of Black History Month” in Black History Bulletin, Jan-Jun 2002, Vol. 65, Issue ½, p 39-41.

To help our community celebrate the achievements of African Americans, Brookens Library has a plethora of materials to choose from.  Our African American Studies research guide: http://libguides.uis.edu/aas is a rich resource where you can locate documentaries, biographies, literature, history, and much more.  Explore the videos in our database, Black Studies in Video and partake of the original words of many Black Americans through the database, Black Thought & Culture, filled with primary source materials. 

Check out one of many DVD’s or streaming videos provided through Brookens Library that celebrate the achievements of African American Men & Women such as:

Trail Mix Bar!

The end of the Fall 2018 Semester is upon us and you may need a quick break to fuel up for the final push! Out team of Librarians are offering a free Trail Mix Bar on Wednesday, December 5th from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on the Main Level of Brookens Library. 

Have a research question? Librarians are on hand to help you every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3:00 – 6:00 PM for drop-in Research Help

How-To-Tuesday: How to Request Items

It’s How-To-Tuesday with the dynamic duo: Meghan and Taylor!!!

This week Taylor can’t find the obscure book she wants at Brookens.
How will she survive? With IShare, of course! See a book that you would like to request for pickup at Brookens Library? This brief tutorial will show viewers how to request items from IShare libraries and have them sent to you.

How-To Tuesday: Charging Stations

What happens if you are engrossed in a deep study session at the library and you notice your phone is on the brink of losing all power? You’re expecting an important call from your uncle in an hour, and you can’t go all the way home to charge your phone. What happens if you have a paper to write but your laptop battery is at 1%? No need to fear, in this installment of How-to Tuesdays, Megan and Taylor show you all about the Charging Stations we have at the library. Check it out and never be left with a dead device again.

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eAudiobooks Available in Cloud Library!

Whether you’re on the road, on the rails, or in the air for the Thanksgiving break, be sure to download one of our eAudiobooks from the Cloud Library collection for your travels. Yes, we’re sure that you have homework to do over the break, but take advantage of your journey to restore by immersing yourself in a mystery, another world, or someone else’s story.  To help you find the perfect book we’ve created some featured shelves to serve as inspiration: Memoir eAudio, Fantasy/SciFi eAudio, and Suspense eAudio. And of course our regular New eAudiobook shelf is there to alert you to new additions to the collection. We wish you a restorative break, safe travels, and happy listening!