Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Data Services (Numeric Data)

Date Drafted: December 2011 (HM) Updated: August 2014 (HM)

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic needs

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 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. This collection policy focuses specifically on commercially published sources of numeric information, membership-based research/academic sources, and freely available sources (e.g., government data).

Handbooks for data analysis software programs are also needed to support the use of data.

Data Services crosses disciplinary boundaries, but retains a focus in the social sciences.  Data and statistical information is collected across all subject areas. 

B. History of the collection/Existing strengths and emphases

Strengths of the collection include a number of large subscription databases which provide multidisciplinary access to statistical datasets in both table and geographic map displays. Although these are considered a collection strength and it is expected that the Libraries’ will maintain subscriptions to databases with multidisciplinary numeric content, individual databases noted here are still subject ongoing collection maintenance and review.

  • Data-Planet Statistical DataSets and Ready Reference
  • PolicyMap
  • ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
  • SimplyMap
  • Social Explorer

Memberships to data archives providing access to numeric datasets are also considered to be a collection strength.

  • Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (membership maintained by the Department of Political Science)
  • Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
Michigan State University