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New research from ProQuest shows that social science faculty rely upon many other sources beyond scholarly journals for their research. ProQuest surveyed more than 200 social science faculty from around the world from a range of social science disciplines including sociology, social work, political science, economics, education, criminology and anthropology.

More than 75 percent of respondents said they use content types such as books, conference proceedings, working papers, and dissertations in their research, both as background reading in trying to define and develop a research question and as part of a comprehensive literature review prior to submitting a paper for publication.

More detail on this survey is available in our whitepaper.

This research builds on previous ProQuest surveys of global business faculty research needs (summarized in previous whitepapers from 2012 and 2013). There were few significant differences between business and social science researchers, confirming that a range of non-journal content is of crucial importance across a range of disciplines.

The survey also looked at the use of raw data. Approximately 85 percent of social scientists use raw data in their research. A majority of respondents want to be able to download data tables published with an article and want to be able to compare data across different countries. However, less than a third of social science faculty felt that they were easily able to find the datasets they want. Two thirds of social science faculty expect students to use data for course assignments, but only 23 percent believe that students have the skills needed to find, analyze and interpret data.

These survey results have propelled the development of resources such as ProQuest’s Statistical Insight and International Datasets. Statistical Insight delivers in-depth statistical data -- presented in 1 million+ individually indexed tables -- that goes beyond what is readily available from the World Bank or other open web sites. International Datasets combines country data from multiple sources and provides tools that enable students to easily compare and manipulate this data. Together these resources are helping libraries meet the needs of social science researchers and their students.

Click here to learn more about the resources available from ProQuest that can help connect researchers with the statistical data and other content they need for their research.

Check out our infographic on the recent updates to the social sciences databases.

29 Sep 2014

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