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Data and statistics

LSE Data Library provides support and advice on using data in your research. It also manages and makes available a wide collection of digital data collections for researchers at LSE. Key areas of support include;

  •  Understanding the varieties of commercially and publicly available data
  •  Guidelines on evaluating available data for use in your research
  •  Advice on finding data using Library Search
  •  Online and Offline data collections
  •  Software Surgeries to discuss data needs
  •  Training courses on Moodle relating to research data
  •  Clarifying conditions of use for data within your research
  •  Using dedicated library Data PCs for particular collections
  •  Latest news on accessing and working with data at LSE

Initial enquiries with the Data Library should be by email providing as much detail as possible about your research question and data needs. Further information is here.

Varieties of Data

The Library supports access to a wide range of data collections which may be categorised as;

  • Micro Level Data (or Microdata) - quantitative and qualitative data from government surveys, opinion polls and other academic research projects,
  • 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
  • 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.

Further details and information on these data collections are available through the Data Library moodle course Data Companion for Researchers.

Conditions of Use for Data

In most cases you may choose to access data collections directly through the catalogue, or after advice from Academic Subject Librarians or the 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 employ. These are all key elements in successfully building on archived data or third party data 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. The essentials are that data is;

  • only to be used for non-commercial academic research
  • used only by LSE staff
  • not shared with anyone else other than those who requested it
  • deleted at the end of a project

A fuller version of these terms and conditions is available and is in line with most academic and commercial suppliers of data. These terms and conditions should be treated as the foundation for any use of digital data at LSE.

The support offered by the Data Library to LSE researchers using third party data is complimented by the advice and training on research data management and creating original research data available from the Academic Support Librarians.  


Academic support