Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
We are still offering consultation services during the COVID-19 move to online instruction. Please feel free to reach out for virtual appointments! For more information on library services and resources, please click here.
In January 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) began requiring that researchers applying for grant funding must include in their proposals a data management plan. Similar to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s Public Access Policy, this requirement exists to ensure that the results of publicly funded research are available to taxpayers.
Universities and other research institutions are beginning to provide hosting services for their researchers' data sets. Researchers' needs for data storage vary widely by discipline both in terms of frequency of deposit and size of storage space needed. (Some research can produce more than a terabyte of data per day!)
Data storage and reuse isn't only of interest to scholars in the sciences. In the growing field of digital humanities, researchers perform text mining using the large corpus of digitized literature available through open access resources like Google Books and the Internet Archive.
Open Access Data on the Web
Government and intergovernmental organizations have led the way in providing open access to data sets. A selection of these resources are listed below. As more research bodies begin to host data, this list will grow.
Provides access to over 140,000 government datasets from 77 agencies and 319 publishers. Data may be manipulated through the many government- and citizen-created apps available on the site.
"This is a list of repositories and databases for open data."
Global Health Observatory Data Repository
"The GHO data repository contains an extensive list of indicators, which can be selected by theme or through a multi-dimension query functionality. It is the World Health Organization's main health statistics repository."
Monthly Bulletin of Statistics, United Nations
"Presents current economic and social statistics for more than 200 countries and territories of the world. It contains 55 tables, comprising over 100 indicators, of monthly, quarterly and annual data on a variety of subjects illustrating important economic trends and developments."
New York Times Semantic API
Replaced the NYT Linked Open Data Portal in 2016. Scope: "The New York Times controlled vocabulary (over 100,000 people, places, organizations and descriptors used to classify New York Times articles metadata) and New York Times articles from 1981 to today (excludes wire services such as the Associated Press)."
This site provides access to 34 UN databases containing 60 million records, covering a broad range of data from crime to industry to demographics.
UNESCO Data Centre
Data on education, literacy, culture, communication, science, and technology.
World Bank Open Data
"Free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe"