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COVID-19 Interdisciplinary Research Resources

About Locating Statistics

Statistical data will lend credibility to your research by providing facts and figures supporting your position. Therefore, statistics may be important to include in your class assignments, research papers, and theses. However, statistical data is not always easy to find since there is no single source for this type of information. Statistics may come from scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, reports, websites, books, statistical databases, and more.

It is important to keep in mind that the most current statistics may actually be a year old or more. Organizations publish reports and statistics according to the data collection cycle (not necessarily annual), the time it takes to analyze and report the data, and the public release schedule.

This guide outlines several techniques and resources for finding and evaluating statistical data. When searching, it is important to keep in mind that the precise information you need may not exist; the data may never have been collected. In other cases, data might be held privately; not all data is available to the public. Be flexible and consider alternative measures to support your research.

Finding Statistics

Using the Statista Database

The Statista database provides current statistics from private and government sources on a wide range of topics including technology, health, public opinion, and market research. For detailed information about the sources of statistics in Statista, click here.

On the Statista homepage, you may enter a keyword relating to your research topic to retrieve results for related statistics, studies, and reports.

Search Statista database using keyword terms

The following links include examples of information specific to COVID-19 from the Statista database: 

Using Google Scholar

Conducting a search in Google or another internet search engine is also a good starting point for finding statistics related to your research topic. Reliable sources of statistics may include government and technical reports, scholarly journal articles, conference papers, white papers, and professional organizations.

When retrieving statistics from the internet, it is even more pertinent to evaluate the source as reliable and appropriate for use in scholarly research. Refer to the Evaluating Statistics section above for specific questions you should ask regarding the statistical source. The Website Evaluation page provides additional factors to consider before including online sources in your research.

Similar to a database search, in Google, you may include the keyword statistics as part of your search string, as shown below. Additional keywords to consider are ratio, proportion, rate, percentage, prevalence, numbers, increase, decrease, data, trends, polling, figures, and tables. You may also want to try putting in the year in order to locate more recent statistics.

Finding statistics related to COVID in Google

Using Roadrunner Search

Often you may obtain statistics from journals, magazines, or newspapers on your research topic. The Library’s Roadrunner Search is a good starting point since it searches most of the Library’s databases in a single, simultaneous search.

You may include the keywords (statistics OR ratio OR proportion OR rate) as part of your search string. Additional keywords to consider are prevalence, percentage, numbers, increase, decrease, data, trends, polling, figures, and tables.

Searching statistics about COVID in Roadrunner Search