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Data and statistics

Learn more about our data and statistics collections and the specialist support we provide to help you use this material.

There are 3 broad types of data collections at LSE Library:

  • Printed statistical data - material that can be found using Library Search. An example is The National Accounts of Sri Lanka 2003.
  • Online data -  electronic sources that can be accessed through Library Search. These resources often require registration or additional authentication. S&P Global Market Intelligence is an example of this type of data.
  • Offline data - data suppliers can impose restrictions that forbid us from making resources available on the LSE network, or only on a limited number of machines. Contact the Data Library team about accessing these resources. The International Country Risk Guide is an example of this type of data. 

Varieties of data

  • Micro Level Data (or Microdata) - quantitative and qualitative data from government surveys, opinion polls and other academic research projects. Information on applying to access Eurostat microdata is available in the Moodle companion to data
  • Aggregated Data - statistical data covering a range of socio-economic indicators from sources such as Eurostat, IMF, The World Bank and OECD
  • Financial Databases - up to the minute statistical and financial data from commercial third party data suppliers such as Bloomberg, Thomson-Reuters, Bureau Van Dijk, WRDS and other specialised sources. 
  • Geographic Information Sources (GIS) - data dealing with land use, cartographic boundaries and similar categories. Digimap is a good example of this.
  • National and International Data - data collected at a national and international level on a wide variety of subjects but characterised by a focus on a particular government, country or region. The UK Data Service is a good example.
  • Qualitative and Mixed Methods - qualitative data is non-numeric information, such as in-depth interview transcripts, diaries, anthropological field notes, answers to open-ended survey questions, audiovisual recordings and images. Mixed methods approaches combine qualitative data with numeric data.  A range is available via the UK Data Service.

Data PC access

In the group study area on the 4th floor of the Library, we have four Data PCs that are used to access online financial data which can only be made available through dedicated terminals. These resources are: BloombergSDC Platinum and Datastream. Further information about each resource and how to access them is available in the Library Companion for Data Users

The Data Library team

The Data Library team provide support and advice on accessing data in your research. They also manage and make available data collections for researchers at LSE. Key areas of support include:

  • providing advice on the varieties of commercially and publicly available data
  • guidance on discovering and evaluating data
  • Research Data Management
  • training courses on Moodle relating to research data
  • information about the conditions of use for data within your research

We are unable to help analyse data or design research. We are also unable to support use of analysis packages such as SPSS and STATA - refer to the Department of Methodology's online guidance for these products. 

Contact the Data Library team

Contact the Data Library by email and provide as much detail as possible about your research question and data needs. Ideally you should provide us with:

  • the data collection (or the kind of data collection) you are seeking
  • names of the data collection(s) you have already used

Your email should be sent from your LSE account as this confirms that you are a current LSE student or member of staff. We aim to respond to enquiries within two working days. 

Conditions of use for data

In most cases you may choose to access data collections directly through the catalogue, or after advice from Academic Support Librarians or Data Librarian. Whichever way you choose it is important to be aware of the responsibilities involved in using data. It should also be understood in relation to the requirements of Research Data Management that most research funders now expect. These are all key elements in successfully building on archived data or third party collections in your research.  

Inappropriate use - intentional or accidental - is often in breach of the licences and legal undertakings we make when purchasing data collections or making them available to the LSE research community. 

In order to access and use the resources of the Data Library the following must be understood and agreed to:

  • Copyright of the data is retained by the data owner but licensed for use by current LSE staff and researchers.
  • Access is on the basis of non-commercial academic use.
  • Data is supplied to an individual not a department or project.
  • Sharing of data with others – even within LSE - is not permitted.
  • Data is supplied for use on a specific research project and must be destroyed upon its completion.
  • Where the same data collection is required for other projects a new request must be made.
  • Should researchers leave LSE before a project is completed the data must be destroyed.
  • It is the responsibility of the researcher to keep the data secure and not disclose it to anyone else.
  • In some cases particular data collections or third party data suppliers may also require additional safeguards on the data which must also be honoured.
  • It is the responsibility of researchers who foresee a potential conflict of their use of data with these conditions to contact the Data Library in advance for further discussion.
  • A breach of these conditions will result in termination of future access and possible legal action. 

Further information on data destruction.