This guide includes strategies and resources for locating and evaluating datasets, including free and openly available datasets. You will also find guidance for citing data. Consider starting with UAlbany Data & Statistics Databases. Finally, visit the UAlbany Data Services tab to learn about other data services the University Libraries offer.
Before using a dataset, consider the following:
Quantitative data: are usually numeric, can be counted or measured, and answer questions such as "how many" or "how much".
Qualitative data: are usually categorical and can describe characteristics.
Geospatial data: describe objects or events with a location on the surface of the earth and usually include coordinates, zip codes, etc.
Primary data: are original data collected or created by the researcher themselves while conducting research.
Secondary data: are data that were not collected or created by the researcher themselves, e.g. data from government agencies.
Guide Authors: Kathleen Flynn, Senior Assistant Librarian and Subject Librarian for Physical Sciences, Math & Statistics, Computer Sci.,& Engineering: Elaine M. Lasda, Librarian, Coordinator of Scholarly Communication and Subject Librarian for Social Welfare