You can find statistics in newspapers, articles, books, on websites and in library databases. Here are some useful places to identify reliable statistical sources.
- Online statistical sources available through the University of Nevada, Reno Libraries: The University Libraries' statistics resources and data set resources include demographics, public opinion, consumer trends, health, crime and more along with local, state, national and international information.
- Subject Guides: Some Subject Guides offer statistical and data sources in that subject area. Look for a tab at the top of the subject guide with the label Statistics or Data.
- Specific research groups: Think about your target audience. Who would be interested in your topic? Government agencies, advocacy groups, think-tanks, institutes, or companies? Then look at the websites and search for reports from these groups.
Search the Web
There are statistical sources freely available on the web. Use either the word statistics or data with your topic keywords to find helpful results. When searching on the Web, always take the time to evaluate the source. Is it reliable, trustworthy, and/or an unbiased source?
- Watch out for sponsored results that look like regular search results.
- Be wary of sites that don't list sources for statistics that are cited.
When you see results from different governing bodies and organizations, think about each group’s stake in researching the topic. For example, for statistics on carbon emissions, would an oil company like BP show different items in their statistics than would the Environmental Protection Agency? Could the research be biased?