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What advice do you have for searching the open web for statistics or data?

Last Updated: May 11, 2016  |  3 Views

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If you have been through the resources on or Stats and Data guide, you could now try the stats search engine, Zanran to find leads on data sets. Zanran locates stats within research reports and articles and makes them searchable. Here’s how I am anticipating you would use Zanran:  Try a search for your topic, for example - "early literacy" indigenous – or - "indigenous students" literacy - and see what relevant reports you can find.

If you find a survey description that seems as though it may have gathered data you want to explore, see if you can find the original dataset posted online or (much more likely) email the researcher directly and ask if they can provide you with the data and its matching documentation. You can usually find researchers by Googling their name and their academic field.

Another search engine to try is I ran the one of the same searches I listed above - "early literacy" indigenous - and was led to a promising study called the ‘Progress in International Reading Literacy Study’. 

Another approach is to try searching Google by adding .sav or .sps to your search, or even just the word ‘data’. You could also use the Advanced Search function to narrow your search to .org sites. It may be that narrowing to nonprofits may be useful.  A few sample searches you could try, then, are:

  • "early literacy" indigenous data
  • "early literacy" indigenous data
  • "early literacy" indigenous .sav


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