WISERD Data Resources, WISERD/WDR/002

This document provides an overview of some of the resources available for research within the Social Sciences. At the outset, it is acknowledged that there are difficulties in compiling a catalogue that is going to be ‘all things to all people’. It is not possible to include all available resources for research, or to cover every topic that may be of interest to researchers. Information and intelligence needs are broad and wide ranging. Moreover, such cataloguing exercises quickly become out of data as new initiatives become available. It has also become apparent during the production of this manual that various cataloguing exercises are being undertaken by a variety of organisations. A number of the websites, listed in the document, themselves provide links to further resources.

However, it remains the case that there are gaps in knowledge about the existence and scope of information sources that are currently available. This overview therefore acts as a reference volume, assisting users by identifying the key sources of information related to data and research resources of potential interest.
Resources for research are considered under four broad areas:

  • Compendia sources and reference volumes that provide accessible statistical summaries of particular topic areas, typically drawing upon a range of data sources;
  • Bibliographic resources that enable researchers to search the content of libraries, document databases and download articles or ‘grey’ literature;
  • Methodological resources that enable researchers to learn how to use statistical software, how to construct surveys, or to have concepts explained;
  • Data resources that enable researchers to identify sources of data, browse the data (either online or in reference volumes) and download data for analysis