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Sociological Research

A quick guide to sociological research methods for collecting and evaluating information on your topic.

Electronic Data Center (ECDS)

The Electronic Data Center staff (part of ECDS, Level 3 Woodruff Library) will assist patrons in identifying and accessing quantitative data sources that are appropriate for their work. The ECDS's Data Freeway provides links to online data sources organized by subject. Center staff will also assist patrons in getting their data into their desired formats and will provide basic assistance in using statistical packages. Please note, however, that the Center does not actually perform analyses for students or help them interpret what their results mean. 

For assistance with identifying, accessing, and formatting numeric data, contact: 

Dr. Rob O’Reilly

Coordinator, Electronic Data Center


Geospatial Data and GIS

You can see a list of Emory's Geospatial Data Resources here

For questions about resources in geography, cartography, geospatial technologies, and the use of geographic information, contact: 

Michael Page

GIS Librarian, Electronic Data Center


Tip: Check out the numerous workshops Michael offers on GIS throughout the year. 

Statistical Sources

Tip: Check out the LibGuide Data Services: Selected Resources for Sociologists.


An annual publication that includes a variety of data from the U.S. Federal Government and other sources. Contains excellent indexing and footnotes, which are a great way to find other data sources. Unfortunately, the Census Bureau stopped collecting data for the Statistical Abstracts on October 1, 2011, so the most recent edition is from 2012. HA202.P76 in reference and GovDoc C3.134.    

Covers colonial times to 2005.  Cross referenced and indexed, with downloadable and customizable data sets.   

Online source of statistical information issued by U.S. Federal and State Governments, selected private publications, and major international intergovernmental organizations. While some actual data is included, the database also directs you to actual statistics in print, microfiche or on the web. Check discoverE to see if library has the publications abstracted. If they are not available check the following fiche collections: micfiche 494, American Statistics Index; micfiche 486, Statistical Reference Index; and micfiche 510, Index to International Statistics.

An international consortium of over 700 academic institutions, ICPSR maintains the largest collection of Social Science data in the world.  It has 16 specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism, and other areas. For those interested in developing their quantitative research skills, ICPSR also offers a summer program for students, faculty, and other researchers. 

A gateway to the statistics of over 100 federal agencies.  The beauty of FedStat is that you can access data without knowing in advance which federal agency produces which statistics.  Topics include economic and population trends, crime, education, health care, aviation safety, energy use, farm production, and more. 

More advice on how to find social science data from the University of Michigan's LibGuide.  

Specialized Resources

Is a comprehensive, up-to-date source for US nationwide public opinion. A full-text retrieval system, the iPOLL online database is organized at the question level, providing the tools to sift through nearly a half million questions asked on national public opinion surveys, 1935 to present. Surveys archived in the Roper Catalog were originally gathered by academic, commercial and media survey organizations such as Gallup Organization, Harris Interactive, Pew Research Associates, and many more. Each Emory user must register, using his/her e-mail address, to access this resource.

Provides free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for school attendance areas= or catchment areas, for selected places in the U.S. for the 2009-11 and 2011-12 school years.  

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