Inclusion of erroneous statistical data can harm the credibility of your research. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate the source of your statistical information. The following questions will help you to evaluate the reliability of statistical information.
Statistical data will lend credibility to your research by providing facts and figures supporting your position. Therefore, statistics may be important to include in your class assignments, research papers, and theses. However, statistical data is not always easy to find since there is no single source for this type of information. Statistics may come from scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, reports, websites, books, statistical databases, and more.
It is important to keep in mind that the most current statistics may actually be a year old or more. Organizations publish reports and statistics according to the data collection cycle (not necessarily annual), the time it takes to analyze and report the data, and the public release schedule.
This guide outlines several techniques and resources for finding and evaluating statistical data. When searching, it is important to keep in mind that the precise information you need may not exist; the data may never have been collected. In other cases, data might be held privately; not all data is available to the public. Be flexible and consider alternative measures to support your research.
The Statista database provides current statistics from private and government sources on a wide range of topics including technology, health, public opinion, and market research. For detailed information about the sources of statistics in Statista, click here.
You can access Statista by hovering over Research Resources on the Library homepage and clicking on A-Z Databases.
On the Statista home page, you may enter a keyword relating to your research topic to retrieve results for Statistics and Studies & Reports. A description of all content types available through the Library's subscription appears below. Note: NU does not subscribe to the Market Outlooks so content under the "Expert Tools" menu is unavailable.
The search results screen defaults to displaying the most most relevant content first (based on a formula which has been specifically developed for this purpose). You may change the sort feature to Date of Publication or Popularity by using the "Sort by" drop-down menu under the search box.
Content from from the United States prioritized. This means that it ranks higher in your search results. You may change this prioritization to another country by using the "Location Focus" menu.
Below the content type filters on the left-hand menu, you can find more filter options, including Regions, Countries & Territories, Industry, Publication date, and Archive. The Archive feature allows you to view results from archived news entries which are no longer current, but still worth keeping in Statista.
The "Search accuracy" feature allows you to narrow your search down by using search specification parameters.
To view available all search commands in Statista (Boolean operators, phrase searching, wildcards, etc.), click here.
Additionally, you may browse Statista using the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. To browse by industry, recent and popular statistics, or by topic, hover over the Statistics menu, as shown below.
Note: NU does not subscribe to the Market Outlooks so content under the Outlooks menu is unavailable.
From the search results screen, simply click on the statistic you are interested in to view the full record.
You may download Statista charts in the form of a .png image, or as Excel, PowerPoint, or Adobe Arobat files. These charts are permitted for use in your papers and presentations, as long as you properly cite the original source of the data in your research, not the Statista database. For details on properly citing Statista, see the next tab.
Charts can be customized under settings. Click on the Gear icon to change the chart type and data labels. In case a chart looks overcrowded with data labels, you can, for instance, remove individual labels by clicking on them, before downloading the statistic by selecting Custom.
Charts can also be shared on social media or embedded in web pages. Click on the Share icon to select from the available options or to view the embed code.
Related statistics, topics, and studies may be found at the bottom of the screen.
Statista has a citation tool on the right-hand side of the screen under the download options. Simply select APA from the citation drop-down menu as shown in the image below.
It is important to note, however, that you will need to check for the correct format with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition.
Please note that this information only serves as guidance. Use the Academic Success Center website to learn about coaching and access writing, statistics, editing, and APA Style resources. The Academic Success Center provides access to Academic Writer, which provides over 150 sample references, as well as nearly 10 sample papers. It also incorporates all of the references and other content from the Publication Manual.
Please note that this information only serves as guidance. Use the Academic Success Center website to learn about coaching and access writing, statistics, editing, and APA Style resources.
Often you may obtain statistics from journal, magazine or newspaper articles on your research topic. The Library’s Roadrunner Search is a good starting point since it searches most of the Library’s databases in a single, simultaneous search. To access, go to the Library’s homepage and look for the box in the middle of the page titled Roadrunner Search. Click on the Advanced Search link to bring up more search options.
You may include the keywords (statistics OR ratio OR proportion OR rate) as part of your search string, as shown below. Additional keywords to consider are prevalence, percentage, numbers, increase, decrease, data, trends, polling, figures, and tables.
Conducting a search in Google or another internet search engine is also a good starting point for finding statistics related to your research topic. Reliable sources of statistics may include government and technical reports, scholarly journal articles, conference papers, white papers, and professional organizations.
When retrieving statistics from the internet, it is even more pertinent to evaluate the source as reliable and appropriate for use in scholarly research. Refer to the Evaluating Statistics section above for specific questions you should ask regarding the statistical source. The Website Evaluation page provides additional factors to consider before including online sources in your research.
Similar to a database search, in Google you may include the keyword statistics as part of your search string, as shown below. Additional keywords to consider are ratio, proportion, rate, percentage, prevalence, numbers, increase, decrease, data, trends, polling, figures, and tables. You may also want to try putting in the year in order to locate more recent statistics.
Government, agency and organizational websites are a great source of reliable statistical information.