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Reference Book of the Week: Statistical Sources

Welcome to another edition of the Reference Book of the Week here at The Patriot Spot. When I used to work as an instruction librarian, and I taught a lot more classes, one of the things I often told students writing research papers was that a good number or statistic was a pretty good way to impress their audience. I would say that with a smirk, but I also showed students where to find good statistical sources to help support their research. The U.S. Census Bureau website is a great resource, and it is a very popular one. But what happens when you need international sources? I need to know the consumer price indexes for Azerbaijan, where can I find that? Can you get me data on use of pesticides in Chad? How about statistics on airlines in Spain? Well, if you have a need for answers to these and other questions, our pick this week will help with that and more. This week we are featuring Statistical Sources, a two-volume set published by Thompson Gale that provides a listing of statistical sources. In essence, when you need to know where you can get statistics on a particular topic, this is a good place to find out. This set of books does not provide the statistics; the books tell you what source (print, database, website) will have the statistics. This is how the publishers describe the book:
"The work continues to be an easy-to-use alphabetically-arranged dictionary and guide to current sources of factual qualitative information on well over 20,000 specific subjects, incorporating more than 140,000 citations and more than 1,600 sources, readily leading users to the widest possible range of print and non-print, published and unpublished, and electronic and other forms of U.S. and international statistical sources for economic, business, financial, industrial, cultural, educational, and other topics" (from the Preface, vii).
The set is arranged alphabetically by topic. In the case where an agency or organization does not publish their statistics, contact information is provided so researchers can contact that entity directly to make an inquiry. Before the main part of the book, there is a Selected Bibliography of Key Statistical Sources. This is a small annotated guide of basic general statistical resources. The book set also features appendixes of specific publication titles for the sources mentioned in the books as well as listing of agencies and organizations. The library currently has the 2008 (31st) edition in the ready reference shelves behind the reference desk. You can find this resource under the call number Z 7551 .S84 2008.
Published by root on 31 Jul

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