[Eril-l] resources to help students find free datasets across the curriculum?

Melissa Belvadi mbelvadi at upei.ca
Tue Feb 22 10:47:55 PST 2022


Does anyone know of any free or commercial-subscription databases that help students find raw datasets to use in their papers/projects, across the curriculum?
They could be large research datasets associated with a specific faculty research project/publication, or sets coming out of government agencies (hopefully not just the US), or NGOs/intergovernmental agencies, or any other reliable producers of raw datasets.

So far I am under the impression that so much of this is freely available, but so widely scattered all over the Internet, that we could really use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary finding tool.

The closest I've found so far is ICPSR, which is along the idea I have in mind, but not nearly comprehensive enough and also totally US-centric.

There seems to be some effort in this regard specifically for biomed data, especially from the NIH, but I'm looking for something truly multidisciplinary, like a Google Scholar or Academic Search/OneFile Academic for datasets rather than books/articles.

I think this may be to the 2020s what videos were for academic libraries 20 years ago - something on our periphery that needs to be given the same quality of discovery/access tools as we do for books and articles, and now videos.

So far what I can find is mostly Libguide type of advice with a handful of links - we would never try to make a libguide as our only discovery tool for our books, and maybe it's time we provide datasets with a similar serious search index. Or have we, and I just don't know about it?

Melissa Belvadi
Collections Librarian
University of Prince Edward Island
mbelvadi at upei.ca

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