Working with data is a huge part of the social sciences and something that almost every member of Nuffield does at some stage in their research. Here are a few pointers to help you get started on your data journey here in Oxford.
Bodleian Data Library
The Bodleian Data Library provides a wide range of research data services for Oxford University students and researchers, with a focus on the social sciences. The services offered include:
- help to find, access and use social science statistics and data;
- advice on how to access restricted and sensitive datasets which may not be networked;
- a data brokering and clearing house service for the acquisition of datasets by research centres;
- consultancy and training opportunities;
- alerts to new data sources.
Visit their website to learn more.
Research Data Oxford
With advice on everything from planning your data use, to tools that can help you organise and share your data, to advice on depositing your data in ORA-data, Research Data Oxford is a great website that should be your first port of call for any research data management (RDM) queries.
Nuffield College Library
The library holds a wide range of resources on data use, data management, and support resources for data tools. These can all be found by searching SOLO, and the majority are located in the library basement.
Stata Journal and mailing list
Stata is an integrated statistical software package used by many academics, particularly those in the fields of economics, sociology and politics. Its range of capabilities includes simulations, statistical analysis, custom programming, and publication-ready graphics. Stata is not the only software for this purpose: R and SPSS are among the alternatives, but Stata’s power, flexibility and speed, along with its regular updates, make it a popular choice amongst researchers.
A new version of Stata is released roughly every two years. For each release up until and including version 10, Nuffield College Library has a user’s guide and reference manuals: those copies with a shelf mark of ‘Safe’ are stored in closed access so please ask for them at the enquiry desk. Manuals for version 11 onward are available as PDFs within the software, or are available to download from the Stata website.
Articles about the use of Stata and new user-written commands are published in the quarterly peer-reviewed Stata Journal (print copies are found in the Cole Room at Per S). PDF copies of the journal can also be accessed by Nuffield students and fellows: please email email@example.com to be added to our internal Stata email list.
Access to Stata will have been provided to you by your department – for help from Oxford IT Services, please follow this link.
If you have questions about any aspect of data, or library resources relating to data, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to help: firstname.lastname@example.org.