Data Services ensures that the MSU community has access to numeric information needed to support curricular, research, and general information needs. Numeric information includes both data sets and statistical tables. Data sets are the primary focus of Data Services, but due to the overlapping nature statistical information is a secondary focus. Data sets are sometimes referred to as “raw” data or machine-readable data files and are used in analysis requiring the use of statistical software programs such as SPSS or Stata. Statistics are the human-readable published results of data analysis and may be in either print or electronic format.
Data Services crosses disciplinary boundaries, but retains a focus in the social sciences. Data and statistical information is collected across all subject areas.
The collection includes both subscription resources and freely available web resources.
As emphasis on data-intensive research continues to grow, so will the demand for access to data sets and statistics for secondary analysis. In addition, the burgeoning emphasis on the sharing and publication of research data, as evidenced by the NSF data management plan requirement in grant applications, will likely create demand for new data publication venues. Many domain specific repositories already part of the collection contain data produced by MSU researchers (e.g., ICPSR). Current and developing MSU storage and preservation technical infrastructure (including other individual data repositories within the university) should be monitored for possible intersections with the library collection. The collection of locally produced research data will be considered on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the other criteria within this document for data acquisitions.
Expertise of individual subject librarians is relied upon for collection of subject specific resources, particularly for statistical information. General interest and multidisciplinary data sets are the collection responsibility of the data services librarian. The data services librarian works in cooperation with subject librarians to review resources. Multidisciplinary resources are reviewed by the data services librarian and any other interested parties (e.g., Reference, Business, Social Sciences Coordinator).
There is no individual fund for Data Services. A portion of the sociology fund ($1,000) is set aside for firm order purchases. Additional monies from subject or joint funds may also cover the cost of firm orders and will be used for ongoing subscriptions.
The following criteria are considered for acquisition decisions:
The following data format and access options are currently included within the scope of the collection:
Data sources are included in the collection via inclusion in the library catalog, e-resources, and/or research guides.