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Frederick E. Berry Library and Learning Commons


A guide to Sociology resources and library research.

Getting the most out of Google

Use Google Advanced Search for a more precise search with better results, especially for STATISTICS

Type in your search terms, then type in a specific domain (.gov) or site ( to limit your search results.


For SCHOLARLY articles try Google Scholar (remember to set your preferences up for Salem State University!)

Google Scholar Search

Setting Up Google Scholar Preferences

For a video tutorial CLICK HERE

For step-by-step directions in print see DOC below

Polling Data


Criteria for Evaluating Websites


To determine the quality of information on a website check the following:


Authority – Who is responsible for the content of the page?  What are the individual or organization’s goals and purpose?  Is there contact info?  What’s the domain?


Accuracy – Are the sources for any factual information clearly cited?  Is the information free of errors that would indicate a lack of quality control or produce inaccuracies in the information?


Objectivity – Is there bias?  Who’s the intended audience?  Is advertising playing a role?


Currency – Date published?  Date last revised?  Out-dated info?  Out-dated links?


Coverage – Page still under construction?  Does it address intended topics or has something significant been left out?  Is there a fee to get to some of the information?  Is the info well supported and cited?

Statistics - National

The 2012 Statistical Abstract  The U.S. Census Bureau's national data book, published since 1878.  Summary of statitics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.

Age Data of the U.S.  Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

American Fact Finder  From the U.S. Census Bureau, a source for population, housing, economic, and geographic data.

Bureau of Justice Statistics  U.S. Department of Justice site providing information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems.  Data used by Federal, State, and local policymakers.

Bureau of Labor Statistics  U.S. Department of Labor site providing data relating to the social and economic conditions of the U.S.

CDC Wonder  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. A single point of access to a variety of public health reports and data systems.

Children - US Census Bureau Links to information on Children in the US from the Census Bureau  The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.  A working group composed of 22 federal agencies (as well as partners in private research organizations) that collect, analyze, and report data.

Easy Stats Quick and easy access to selected statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau through American Community Surveys. 

FedStats  Government Website offering statistics from more than 100 federal agencies

HUD State of the Cities Data Systems  Data sets provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Data for individual metropolitan areas, cities and suburbs.

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data  Site for archiving and distributing crime and research data, U.S. Department of Justice

National Center for Education Statistics  Primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education. U.S. Department of Education.

National Center for Health Statistics Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services. An interactive health data site.

NCJRS  National Criminal Justice Reference Service includes statistics. Stats are found in articles and links.  U.S. Department of Justice 

State Data Center  A data center provided by U.S. Census Bureau in cooperation with each state.  Search state by state.

Youth Violence (NCJRS)

Educational Resources from the US Census Bureau

Statistics - International

CIA World Factbook Provides info on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

eurostat  Statistics made available by the European Commission.

OECD Factbook  Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development economic, environmental and social statistics.

OFFSTATS  Official statistics gathered by the University of Auckland Library (New Zealand).  Browse by country, region, or subject.

UN Data An interface for searching several of the United Nations' free databases.

UN Statistics Division  Global statistical information provided by the United Nations.

World Bank Research Datasets  Free datasets from the World Bank topics included: conflict, poverty, sustainablerural and urban development, etc.

WHO Data and Statistics  Data and statistics from the World Health Organization.

WTO Statistics Database  Search statisical information provided by the World Trade Organization on trade profiles, tariff profiles, and international trade. 

Statistics - Massachusetts

Boston's Neighborhoods  Reports and some statistics on Boston's neighborhoods provided by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.

Boston Redevelopment Authority Research and Publications  Provided by the RDA, research and publications on such topics as the 2000 census, housing, foreign-born in Boston, labor market, etc.

Boston Police Department Crime Stats

MA Juvenile Courts  Stats

Massachusetts Commonwealth Community Reports

Massachusetts Crime Reports  NIBRS related reports presented by the Massachusetts State Police.

Massachusetts Department of Education Statistical Reports

Massachusetts Office of Health and Human Services

Mass Benchmarks  Massachusetts State Data Center.  A program of the UMass Donahue Institute's Economic and Public Policy Research Unit.  Part of the state data center program established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Data sets - Other

Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Database  Access to hundreds of measures of child well-being.  Data by state and across states.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)  Web site providing quick and easy access to data for the social science research community, along with information about ICPSR.  Part of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect  A project of the Family Life Development Center, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University, Ithaca NY