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By Anusha Nasrulai and Iva Grohmann
The research process begins with the search for data. In the context of research, data is information that has been gathered in order to validate research. Locating trustworthy and accurate data for a given project can be a challenging process at times.
Many of these resources are primarily focused on articles, but also provide the means to search for datasets and collections.
To search for data, make sure you are restricting your search to formats that only include materials such as “downloadable archival materials”, “datasets”, “data papers”, or similar.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? UW Special Collections’ “How Do I Find…?” page contains advice on finding less conventional data, such as archival materials.
Want to improve your searching skills and get more accurate results? Check out UW’s Guide on Phrase, Boolean, and Wildcard Searching. Also check the UW Libraries Undergraduate Researcher Tutorial on Canvas for more search tips and information.
You may also be considering collecting your own data to use for your capstone, research paper, honor’s thesis, or other research project, as opposed to utilizing previously published data. Remember to weigh the ethical considerations of your data collection, and contact your research advisor for more information on IRB requirements, collecting sensitive information, and de-identifying data.
Looking into text or data mining? Check out the UW Libraries guide for more information on APIs, downloading datasets, and direct web scraping.