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  1. Introduction

    Library Services provides access to a number of databases which enable the collection, compilation, manipulation and visualisation of social and economic indicators.

    Quite often these databases differentiate between macro- and microdata:

    • Macrodata are where the unit of observation is often an aggregate, such as a country. This type of data is used to investigate variables which change mainly over time. Examples include the GDP or inflation rate of a country.
    • Microdata, on the other hand, are sets of quantified values regarding individual units of observation, their environment and some or several outcomes of interest. Units of observation can be individuals, households, firms or elements within organisations or other entities. Examples include survey data, like the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, or company information.

     

    The following list includes relevant subscribed databases and a few openly available websites. For additional data repositories, visit re3data.org. It is a global registry of research data repositories that covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. Users can search or browse for data repositories by subject, content type or country of origin.

     

    Please note the British Library and City Business Library provide free, onsite access to numerous other databases relating to the following areas.

  2. Governmental websites 3 items
    1. data.gov.uk

      Website  Brings together UK public datasets in one searchable site. There are datasets available from all central government departments and a number of other public sector bodies and local authorities.

    2. Eurostat

      Website  Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union. Its task is to provide the EU with statistics which enable comparisons to be made between different countries and regions. Eurostat publishes a wide range of data on topics such as economics, industrial and environmental issues. Registration is required for in-depth support from their helpdesk.

    3. Office for National Statistics

      Website  The ONS is the Executive Office of the UK Statistics Authority and its work includes the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of a range of economic, social and demographic statistics relating to the UK.

  3. Country data 3 items
    1. ICRG Researchers' Dataset Table 3B (Political Risk)

      Webpage  The ICRG Researcher's Dataset - Table 3B provides annual averages of the 12 components of ICRG's Political Risk Ratings (Table 3B), as published in the International Country Risk Guide since 1984. Average ratings are provided for all countries covered by ICRG from 1984 through to the last full calendar year.

    2. OECD iLibrary - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

      Website  Contains the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s books and papers published since 1998, as well as a vast collection of statistics, with data going back to the early 1960s. Abstracts only for IEA material (see UK Data Service).

    3. UK Data Service

      Website  The UK Data Service is a comprehensive resource funded by the ESRC to support researchers, teachers and policymakers who depend on high-quality social and economic data. Registration is required if you wish to download, order or analyse data online, where this is possible. Key data sections are: UK surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal surveys, international macrodata, census data, business macrodata, qualitative/mixed methods and administrative data.

  4. Historic data 2 items
    1. International Historical Statistics

      Book  A compendium of national and international socio-economic data from 1750 to 2010. The digital database is an interactive version of the three-volume work edited by Brian Mitchell (University of Cambridge). Data are available in both Excel and PDF tabular formats. IHS is published by Palgrave.

    2. WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services)

      Website  Access is for staff and post-graduate students only. Includes Compustat data and in terms of country data, Penn World Tables. These provide national income accounts-type of variables converted to international prices. The homogenization of national accounts to a common numeraire allows valid comparisons of income among countries. Access is via a WRDS account: select the Register tab, complete the Account Request form and wait for a confirmation access email (can take a few days).

  5. Other socio-economic sources 2 items
    1. ICPSR

      Website  The Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research acquires, preserves, enhances, and distributes original social science research data for research and instruction. Access is available to over 500,000 datasets in the social sciences. You need to create an account in order to download data.

    2. UK Data Service

      Website  The UK Data Service is a comprehensive resource funded by the ESRC to support researchers, teachers and policymakers who depend on high-quality social and economic data. Registration is required if you wish to download, order or analyse data online, where this is possible. Key data sections are: UK surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal surveys, international macrodata, census data, business macrodata, qualitative/mixed methods and administrative data.

  6. Company & financial information 8 items
    1. Amadeus (Bureau van Dijk)

      Website  A database of comparable financial information for public and private companies across Europe. You can use it to research individual companies, search for companies with specific profiles and for analysis.

    2. Companies House

      Website  The UK organisation which incorporates and dissolves limited companies, examines and stores company information and makes this information available to the public.

    3. Datastream

      Website  An extensive, historical time series database from Thomson Reuters that provides financial and economic data. Only available at the SSEES Library. Coverage includes equities, equity indexes, unit trusts, bonds, interest rates, exchange rates and commodities.

    4. FAME

      Website  Company data from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It includes company accounts, ratios, activities, ownership and management for the largest 1.9 million UK and Irish companies, and summary information for a further 900,000 smaller businesses.

    5. The financial times (electronic resource)

      Journal  FT.com provides access to today’s Financial Times from 5 regions, an archive and additional functionality through site registration. Data features include interactive charting and market reports via the Data Archive. For off-site and ePaper access you must first register for an FT.com account.

    6. Nexis UK (LexisNexis Business and News)

      Website  Use the Company Profiles search form to search for financial details and profiles of companies around the world.

    7. Osiris (Bureau van Dijk)

      Website  A database of publicly listed companies worldwide. It provides financials, ownership, news, ratings, earnings and stock data for the world’s publicly quoted companies, including banks and insurance firms from over 130 countries.

    8. WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services)

      Website  Access is for staff and post-graduate students only. Includes Compustat data. Access is via a WRDS account: select the Register tab, complete the Account Request form and wait for a confirmation access email (can take a few days).

  7. Market research 8 items
    1. ABI/INFORM Collection (ProQuest) - ProQuest Information and Learning Company

      Website  Search a complete database comprising full-text business periodicals and news sources from ABI/INFORM Global, Dateline, and Trade & Industry.

    2. Asian & European Business Collection (ProQuest XML)

      Website  Offering detailed information on companies, economies, markets, and overall business conditions throughout the Eastern Hemisphere. Includes full-text coverage of news stories, country information and statistics and political, economic, social, and business profiles.

    3. Business Market Research Collection (ProQuest XML)

      Website  Contains company, industry, economic and geopolitical market research from: Hoover's Company Profiles, OxResearch and Snapshots.

    4. IntelliNews Pro (bne)

      Website  Delivering market news and reports, in English, for over 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and regionally for the Middle East/North Africa, Nigeria/Ivory Coast, Sub Saharan Africa, and Asia.

    5. Oxford Business Group Reports

      Website  Oxford Business Group is a global publisher and consultancy producing annual investment and economic reports on more than 30 countries. Every business intelligence report is based on in-country research by experienced analysts. You need to register for access using your UCL e-mail address.

    6. Passport - Euromonitor International

      Website  Euromonitor International's global market analysis software platform that analyses industry in countries around the world. It provides industry-specific data sets, coverage of relevant channels and products, long historic and forecast data series, and reports by local analysts analysing the characteristics of countries.

    7. Snapshots (ProQuest XML) - CSA

      Website  The Snapshots Series includes over 8,890 market reports across 43 industries in 40 countries, spanning the UK, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific, North America, and Latin America.

    8. SNL Metals & Mining

      Website  For UCL users only. Register on initial use from a UCL computer with your UCL email. Includes in-depth reports, real-time news and custom analysis tools for a full understanding of the global mining industry. With coverage on over 36,000 mines and properties and 12,000 mining and exploration companies, SNL provides both high-level overviews of market trends.

  8. Hints & tips

    • Research objectives need to be carefully constructed and clearly defined, as they dictate the data needed to be obtained and analysed.
    • Is the data sufficient?  Are their characteristics suited to, and sufficient for, your study?
    • Choose your data from the same databank or family of databanks. There are comparability problems with selecting data from various sources. 
    • Some databanks have better cross-country comparability than others. For example, OECD data are especially designed for cross-country comparison.
    • Consult dataset documentation, user guides and worked examples.
    • Examine more information and footnotes. For example, if you're unsure which countries are included in a country group or region.

  9. Citation

    Data should be considered legitimate, citeable products of research, just as other research outputs, so you must cite data! If your department recommends a specific reference style, follow the appropriate form for citing data. The UK Data Service also offers online guidance. Details of the citation and acknowledgement are set out in the 'Study information and citation' file, available for every dataset from the online documentation table via the relevant catalogue record within Discover. A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is included in citations. This ensures that even if the location of the data changes, the DOI will always link to the data that were used. Each dataset used must also have a separate citation.

    • The Harvard citation style uses the following structure:Author names. Year. Title of resource. [medium type]. Host institution name, Physical location. Date of access. Identifier
      e.g. Institute for Social and Economic Research. 2011. Understanding Society: Wave 1 2009-2010 [data file]. University of Essex, Colchester, Essex. Accessed 29 May 2013. SN: 6614. http://discover.ukdataservice.ac.uk/doi/?sn=6614#
    • The Vancouver citation style uses the following structure: 
      Author names. Title of resource [medium type]. Host institution name: Physical location; Year of publication. [Date accessed]. Available from: Identifier
      e.g. Institute for Social and Economic Research. Understanding Society: Wave 1, 2009-2010 [data file]. University of Essex: Colchester, Essex; 2011. [cited 29 May 2013]. Available from: DOI: http://discover.ukdataservice.ac.uk/doi/?sn=6614#

  10. Further help

    • Database help screens & help desks are often very useful.
    • ISD offer training to UCL students & staff on data analysis software, e.g. SPSS and Stata. Also view relevant tutorials in lynda.com.
    • For further assistance about the sources of socio-economic data we have access to, please contact the Subject Librarian for Economics, Public Policy and History: kieron.jones@ucl.ac.uk

     

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