Types of Data

At Ohio State there are three main choices relating to data where the library can help. 

Data I've produced- 

The library can assist researchers at various point of the data lifecycle:

1) Before the research begins: OSU Libraries provides customized templates through DMPTool.  See more tools related to Planning for and Management of Research Data.

2) As you're conducting research, you may find that you need additional help with visualizing your data. Sarah Murphy, Data Literacy and Visualization Librarian, and Lee-Arng Chang, Data Visualization Specialist, are available for consultations or workshops on data visualization.  Josh Sadvari, Geospatial Information Librarian, may be able to assist you with maps and geospatial data visualization.  Additionally, there are a number of workshops available through the Research Commons on techniques as well as specific tools.

3) Once you've completed your research, you can:

Databases and Library Resources with Data

Did you know that the Libraries subscribe to a number of databases that contain raw data that can be downloaded? From Census data to polling data to data about business trends, all of these types of data are available through research databases.  Subject librarians from History and Economics have compiled lists of resources that contain raw or processed data sources.

When looking for data from library resources, think through who is producing the data as well as who is the audience for the data. By addressing those two questions, you'll have an easier time locating the data. For example, many privately owned businesses do not need to disclose their data. On the other hand, Census data are freely available but may need some massaging to make it useful for your analyses.

Using proprietary library data for my research

Library database vendors, such as JSTOR, Gale, and Project Muse, often work with researchers to create custom datasets for big data analysis.  HathiTrust also provides a research center whereby faculty researchers can mine scanned documents from the HathiTrust corpus.  While these resources are available to researchers, the Libraries can inquire about the use of data with a publisher/vendor because of an existing service or negotiate a license with terms specific to the intended research. Also, some publishers/vendors may charge a fee for the data itself and/or for the preparation or extraction of it. Work with your Subject Librarian to gain access to the data.  See more resources for using proprietary library data in your research.

What is data?

The word data can mean many things to many people, so defining context is important to conversations. The video below explains what data is, why we use it, the most common ways of finding it, and how to use it properly.