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Transcript - Finding Reliable Statistics - March 15 2017

Video Link: https://youtu.be/CHFDaYO_2FY

 

Begin Transcript

 

Narration:

>> Hi, everyone. Welcome. We'll get started in just a minute. In the meantime, you can find the captioning link in the chat box, if you would like captioning for today's webinar. It will just open up another browse Erwin doe that has kind of a dialogue typed out for you, if you'd like to use that service, please do. You'll also find the slide show for today in the handout section of the gotowebinar. So I have 2:00 eastern time and I'll go ahead and get started. Audrey, if you want to press record, that would be great.

My name is Meghan Testerman, I'm one of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences librarians and I'm here with my colleague, Audrey Butlett, who is the business and administration librarian. We're going talk a little bit about how to find reliable statistics. A couple things that we will not be getting to today. We won't be able to answer any specific questions about statistics relating to perhaps your dissertation or your doctoral study. If you have any specific questions like that that you'd like to speak to a librarian with about that topic, at the end of the webinar, I'm going to show you where you can go to get additional help, including where to go to make an appointment to talk to a librarian about those questions. But if you do have questions, we will have a question/answer session after the presentation. The presentation's probably going to be about 30 minutes and then we'll take the rest of the -- whatever's rest of the hour, we'll take and do a question/answer. And if you have some questions that you come up with during the presentation, you know, just hang onto them or you can type them in the question box and then we'll try to answer them during the question and answer session if we can.

Another thing that we're not going to talk about today is today's presentation is not at all about any kind of data analysis, so if you're thinking about statistics in terms of how to take data sets and process them into statistics, that's actually not under our scope for today and not really under the Library's purview either. If you do have questions about creating statistics, using data sets, using SPSS, anything like that, that would be a question for the Center for Research Quality. And at the end of the presentation, I'll show you their website and how to contact them for more help with data analysis and research designs and questions like that. But today what we're going to talk about is how to find reliable statistics. So, I'm going to actually close out my web cam and then go to the presentation and then later I'll open it back up so we can chat.

Okay. All right. So today we're going to try to address three main questions. We're going look at who produces statistics and what kind of statistics do they produce? We're going to talk about how to assess the reliability and credibility of statistics. And then we're going to try to answer, to the best we can, the big question, which is, where do we find these statistics. So let's start out with a quick overview of who produces statistics. So, our sources for statistics really come from four main sources for doing scholarly research. They are individual researchers, professional organizations, research organizations and government agencies. And we're going to kind of move through all four of these groups, and I'm going to show you kind of where their statistics live and we're going talk a little bit about evaluating statistics from each resource. So, our first source is individual researchers. These are people who -- people such as social scientists, academic researchers, including our faculty and student colleagues here at Walden University.

Now, this group does a lot of quantitative studies and data analysis. So, you'll encounter statistics produced by this group a lot in dissertations, scholarly journals. And the statistics produced by individual researchers typically try to address a gap in the knowledge. So this means that oftentimes you will encounter statistics that have more of a narrow focus that really tries to solve very specific problem or measure a specific problem. And they often use data that's from smaller populations and smaller data sets. So, in terms of assessing reliability and credibility for individual researchers, you're going to want to stick to statistics that are published and dissertations and peer-reviewed scholarly articles. That's probably going to be the most reliable statistics that you'll find are ones that have gone through some kind of a heavily reviewed process that you could get through a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. So the second group we're going to look at are professional organizations.

Now, for this, just as a sample, because I'm a CSBS librarian, we're going to look today through the lens of social work, the field of social work. But please keep in mind that as we go through this, you can apply this to whatever your subject area is. I'm just going use this as an example. But professional organizations are another source that we can go to to try to find statistics. So, for social work, we have some professional organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers, Society for Social Work and Research, the American Clinical Social Work Association. All subject areas have these professional organizations. And if you don't know what your professional organizations are, maybe take some time and have a look. Like they'll be a really invaluable resource as you go forward into your career.

So professional organizations, most of the time provide statistics about an industry. So, here you'll find statistics on issues such as employment, professional growth, industry challenges. If you're doing research on the profession itself, professional organizations will be a really great place to look for statistics on that industry. Especially because professional organizations not only produce statistics, but they also collect them. So you can look to professional organizations to see what kind of statistics are out there and relevant and current to the field and the statistics that are actually being used in today's conversation about your profession. So, when thinking about credibility of professional organizations, we're going to want to always ask ourselves where the data came from. So did the organization collect it themselves? Do they just take that information from another source? And you're going to want to also ask yourself, does this statistic give us the most comprehensive analysis of the data possible?

So, our third category for sources for statistics are research organizations. And as we move through these different resources, we really are moving, you know, to becoming more and more reliable. So, you know, when we start with individual researchers and move through professional organizations, research organizations are kind of one step higher than those two for being -- for having reliable statistics. In this case, we're looking at some research organizations that have something to do with social work policy. So there's the Social Work Policy Institute, the Rand Corporation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Annie E. Casey, I'm sure you've heard of a lot of these. Typically these are nonprofit organizations and they often collect data and collect statistics. First and foremost to support their mission and to make policy recommendations. So, most of the time this information is free and available to the public. These organizations have a real research focus, therefore, they collect more data and create more statistics than professional organizations, but, like professional organizations, they also collect statistics as well as produce them.

So you can go here to find good collections of statistics from other sources that might be really useful to you. So, keeping in mind when we are thinking about the credibility of statistics from these organizations, because research organizations, like I said, often produce their statistics to support a policy decision or their mission, they can have sometimes a bias in a certain direction, they can sometimes gather information to support a particular policy decision in the way that they want to support it. So, you have to take an extra, you know, precautionary step with research organizations to really evaluate the information that you're finding to make sure that it is as comprehensive as it can be, that it really does explore, you know, all the data that's available and that it's as unbiased as possible. Now, our final resource that we're going to look at are government agencies. So, for this, you know, this could include U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, as well as intergovernmental agencies, such as the World Health Organization.

So these organizations collect data and create statistics on just a great multitude of topics. And the wonderful thing about government sources is that they have the ability to collect information from a really wide variety of institutions and from very large data sets. So, you know, when we talked about the individual researchers working with very small data sets on very small issues, well, this is the opposite of that. You know, we have government agencies who are able to collect information from, you know, entire populations of a country.

So this is going to be the most reliable source of statistics that you will be able to find. When we think about, you know, statistics and being reliable, the government statistics really are the gold standard for reliable statistics. They are going to be as unbiased as possible, they're going to come from these really large samples, really large data sets. All of those things make them more reliable than other sources of statistics. So we've talked a little bit about the reliability and credibility of these four sources, individual researchers, professional organizations, research organizations, and government agencies. But when in doubt, there are several factors that you can consider to help evaluate the credibility of a statistic.

So, some of the questions you might want to ask when you're considering including a statistic in your scholarly work, you know, where did the data come from? Did the organization or the agency collect the data? Was it from a secondary source in. You know, what was the data collection methods? How was the data collected? Is it a comprehensive data set? Is it partial? Is it representative of a large population or small group? Who collected the data? Was it the organization, the agency, researchers, student researchers? When was the data collected? What was the date range of the actual data, which can oftentimes be really different than the publication date. Why was this statistic -- I'm sorry. Who analyzed the data? How reliable is the organization or agency or individual that interpreted that data? And then, why was this statistic created? Was it to support a policy decision? Was it to support a in addition? These are all important questions to ask. And then, finally, where was the statistic published? Was it published in a peer-reviewed journal, on a government website, in a book? All of these questions and considerations will help you kind of determine the strength of your statistic and how likely that statistic is to provide good support for the argument that you are trying to make.

So, now we're going to talk to the big question, which is, how to find these statistics. So, I'm going to show you two different methods. I'm going to show you how to find statistics on the web and then also we're going to look at finding statistics using Library resources. So, now is a good point to just take a brief pause and talk about how to approach finding statistics. And this is especially important for those of you who might be listening today who are dissertation or doctoral students. A lot of times we'll see students come into the Library and they have -- they've observed a phenomenon and they want to go and find a statistic on that to create a problem statement. This can be a really difficult way to try to find statistics. If you -- if you start with a very narrowly defined phenomenon and you want to try to find a statistic to back that up, it really is like looking for a needle in a haystack. What we recommend, instead, is kind of starting with an area of interest and then going into the literature and seeing what statistics exist on that area of interest and then using that to formulate a problem statement. Instead of kind of having an observation, then creating a problem statement, then trying to find statistics to back that problem statement up.

You're going to have a much easier time if you just kind of, you know, do a broad survey of your area, see what exists, see how you can apply that to your problem statement. That's the difference between the literature and the statistics supporting you and you're just looking for a needle in a haystack. So what we kind of say is try to avoid looking for that magic statistic that's going to back up your observation. And it's word it to take the time to just survey the literature and see what exists. So, we're going to actually talk today about essential work issue, we are going to look at teens who are aging out of foster care. This is a good example of what I'm talking about here with this area of interest. So teens who are aging out of foster care, that might be our area of interest, and that's kind of broad enough that we can go out there and see what kind of statistics exist on teens aging out of foster care, but we're not making any assumptions about rates or how much or how many these questions or statistics are supposed to answer.

So if we just keep an open mind and go and look and see what we might find, we might find some really good things to formulate a problem statement from. So let's say we're going take our topic of interest today, which are teens who are aging out of foster care, and we want to go see what statistics are available on the web, and where do we start to look. Well, we can go ahead and take, you know, an example of each of our resources that we talked about, professional organizations, research organizations and government agencies, and we're going to actually go on the web and we're going to see if we can find statistics on our topic for each one of those. So I'm going to take an example. We're going to go to the National Association of Social Workers for our professional organization. We're going look at the Annie Casey Foundation and we're going look at the Department of Health and Human Services.

So let's go over to the browser. And we're going to go to Google. We're going to start with Google today. So, the first place I want to look is professional organizations. So I'm going to type in the National Association of Social Workers and go to their website. I'm actually going to go to the national website, which is here. Okay. Now, they do have -- you can kind of go through here and do this a couple different ways. You can look at publications and look at some of their reports, you can look at press releases, sometimes those have really good statistics, but just to kind of cut through, just to kind of get an idea of what's here, I'm actually going to use their search box. Now, this search is run by Google and it searches their entire website. And, so, I'm just going to take our basic keywords for our area of interest today, which is, teens aging out and foster care. Ands in just a really basic search to just see, you know, what information they might have on this topic.

So, if we have a look here, we have a couple really interesting things that might take us to the information that we're kind of looking for. I see here right at the very beginning there's something that they've done in their press, which has to do with youths aging out of foster care, and that looks to me like it might be a good lead. So I'm going to click on that and see where it takes me to. Now, from just what I can gather from looking at this, this is from their press, it looks like it's a chapter of a book. And because I've spent a little bit more time with this, I know this was a book -- that they published a report last year, and the report, they turned it into a book. So, if I kind of browse through here, I'm looking for statistics which describe, you know, how much and how many and describe a particular phenomenon, the phenomenon of youth who is are aging out of foster care. And right here, even, in just the third paragraph, I see something that looks like a statistic. It talks here about in September, 2013, there were over 402,000 children in foster care in the United States. 16% were between the ages of 15 and 18 and another 2% were 19 and older. That's a statistic. Here we have it cited from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, so we know that that's a government statistic, which means it's from a very reliable source. And we even see some more information we have here the sample size, we have real specific numbers about who these children are. We have information on their ethnicity and we have information on their transition and care.

So this is a really good start. They do have things cited here, but it doesn't have the name of the report. So you might have to dig a little bit further to find out what that report is. But once you do, you know, it would totally be worth it to go to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and look for that report specifically and cite it there. So, any time you find something -- a statistic like this that is something that's clearly being gathered from another source, especially if it's a more reliable source, go to the most reliable source that you can find it on. So if you see it here, don't cite, NASW, go to HHS and go to the original report and use that to cite. That's the most reliable source. So that's just a quick example of looking at professional sites. Now let's look at a research organization. So we're going to do the same thing with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Now, the Annie E. Casey Foundation actually has this really nice search box, it's right here. The NASW that we just looked at doesn't have this because their search is structured a little bit different on their website, but sometimes you have this really nice search box here. And this is exactly the same thing as searching that search box that we just did, that was actually on the website.

So we can actually just skip going to the page and just type in teens aging out and foster care. Type our keywords right into this box, and it's going to search the website for us. Now, sometimes this is nice just because, as you saw with the last website, the results were just like a little bit difficult to read and a little bit just kind of -- well, just a little bit cumbersome. This has a really nice layout. But this is all from the website, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, you can tell just from the code here. So having a look through these, I found this one, the second one that was brought up on the list, which sounded like it was talking about my topic, which is aging out of foster care. And this actually has a really nice report that they've put together. So, opening up the report, and just, you know, scanning through here, we see that there's a nice introduction to -- and then we almost immediately get into some statistics. And you'll notice here that everything is footnoted. All of the statement that is they have are footnoted, which is really great because, remember, we talked about research organizations and how often they're supporting a policy and there very well might be a bias. So we really do want to know as much as we can about where these statistics are coming from and who wrote them. Let's see. These are footnoted 1 through 6, so if we go down to our end notes, we can look here at who exactly created these statistics, where they came from, and we see, you know, that first one, the first table that was talking about ages, was from, again, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

And it gives you a nice little link that you can go straight there. To go and double-check that statistic, make sure that they got it right, make sure that it wasn't misinterpreted and get as much information as you can on it. So that the statistic that we looked at from the professional organization and the statistics that we're looking at here from the research organization, both of those use statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services. So let's go there next. Let's actually do HHS. That should take us. So, here we go. Department of Health and Human Services. So, government agencies can be notorious for being difficult to search and find information. Luckily that's really improving and things are getting a lot better. This has a really nice kind of Google-esque, you know, search bar right here. But if, you need some more help with searching for government -- through government documents or through government resources, we actually do have a really nice webinar. Give me one second. [ no audio right now ]

Audrey: Meg, if you can hear me, there's a few students, including myself, I can no longer hear you. I just want to make sure that on your end, you know that it's not working.

Meghan: Audrey, let me know if you can hear me.

Audrey: I can hear you now.

Meghan: I'm so sorry. It looks like my connection just shorted out for a second. Let's see. I think we got to HHS, is that right, Audrey?

Audrey: Yeah. Sorry, I was sort of paying attention but also trying to -- [ Overlapping conversation ] But we're still here.

Meghan: That's fine. I'm so sorry, guys, let's pick up where I left off, which is moving on to government agencies. So we looked at -- so we looked at the professional organization, and we tried to find -- we found that book chapter. We looked at the research organization. And we found this really nice report that had great end notes. And then I think around the time my connection cut out, what I was saying was that both of those actually cited the Department of Health and Human Services. So the next thing I wanted to show you was HHS. And how to search for statistics in a government -- on a government website. So, government websites have in the past been kind of notorious for being difficult to search. And for being just a little bit, you know, convoluted to kind of wade through. Lucky things are getting a little bit easier. HHS has this really nice kind of Google sort of search bar. They've really tried to make it a little bit easier to search, but if you do have a hard time managing government agencies or government resources, we do have a really nice webinar, which is here, under our instructional media section, and the recorded webinars under Library skills. And that is right here, which is -- let's see. Government... Here we go. Finding government documents. So, we do have a webinar that will walk you through the process if you need a little bit more help. But for now, lucky we have this really nice search bar. And what I'm going to do for this one is I'm going to kind of change my wording a little bit. Instead of typing in my keywords, what I'm going to type in is exactly what I'm looking for, which is statistics on foster care. And see if that can give us something.

Okay. So, the first thing that we see here -- let's see. Let's try -- I believe it's this one -- the Children's Bureau. So here we've been taken to the Children's Bureau, which is a subdivision of the Department of Health and Human Services. They've collected here adoption and foster care statistics. And they've compiled them into almost yearly reports. So, the government also is kind of known for being a giant beast and sometimes you do get information that's a couple years old. You know, I would not be surprised if the most recent statistics that we found were from, you know, 2006 or 2007. But here we actually do have, you know, some estimates for fiscal year 2015, which is really great. So if we click on one of these reports and have a look at what it actually looks like, we see that they are really just chockful of a ton of really great information. They have a lot of raw data, but they also do have a lot of statistics as well. And, like I said, you know, if you follow those chains back to the government resource for your statistic, this is going to be the most reliable, unbiased, solid information that you're going to probably be able to find on your topic. So, that is looking at some web resources for finding statistics. We did professional organizations, research organizations, and government agencies.

And now I actually want to switch over to the Library and show you how to find statistics in the Library. And the first thing I want to show you is that we do actually have a statistics and data section, which is a pretty large guide that, you know, offers an overview to statistics and talks about a lot of the things we're talking about today, you know, like, different types of resources, and then some ideas for where to go to find statistics. Now, the Library has compiled a lot of resources for you for -- by subject area. And we have statistics and data by topic. And you can go to whatever your area -- your subject area is and look at some really good resources that you can search. We also have a really nice combined search up here at the top.

So if we want to type in foster care, we can have a look at some different things that pop up. And actually what we'll see are a lot of what we just looked at, such as health and human services, foster care, we could even add foster care and aging out, foster care and teens to get a little bit more specific in this nice combined search. And the last thing I want to show you is how to search for articles in statistics -- how to search for statistics in articles, rather. So this is where we start getting to the individual researchers that we talked about. So we might see some dissertations, we might see some scholarly journals that have -- where people have done studies, collected data and created statistics. So, there's a couple options for searching statistics in the Library databases. And here we have a nice guide that talks about, you know, some keywords you might use, some limiters you might use, and we actually do walk you through a sample search and give you some ideas about how to use limiters. But let's actually go in to a database and try it for ourselves.

So I'm going to take you to our social work research home. This is articles by topic. And then we're going to go down to social work, just keeping with our theme today. And socindex, by the way, these research homes that I just kind of blew through, these are all -- our subject area research homes are really kind of like a one-stop shopping for resources for your subject area. So no matter what your area is, you're going to have databases, you'll have some books, some webinars, some really good resources for dissertation and doctoral study students. So, whatever your subject area is, make sure you take a look at what's available for you in these research homes. We're going to go to social work, which is one of my areas, and we're going to go into socindex, which is one of the most popular databases for databases in human services. You'll need to log on, using your myWalden ID, log-in and password. This will give you access to the databases. I'm sure you've already done a bit of searching like this so it shouldn't be too unfamiliar to you. But what we're -- but we're looking for statistics on teens aging out of foster care.

So let's just type that in. Let's just do a really broad search here. Teens aging out. And then we will do foster care. And I'm actually not going to select full text because if I were doing this for a dissertation or doctoral study, I would really want to see everything that's out there, but I am going to select peer reviewed because right now I want to -- I'm just looking at things that are -- that come from, you know, really high-quality resources, such as peer-reviewed scholarly journals. So I'm going to do a search and just see what I get back with this basic search. So I have 11 results. Kind of scanning through here, it looks like we really are pretty close to on top of if we're talking about teens aging out of foster care. So what if we didn't get this nice, you know, 11 results, you can find of just scan through these and look at the abstracts and see kind of what it's about and if it might be something useful to you. But what if our result got something back like, you know, 2,000 results, you know, how do you narrow that down to what's the most relevant? So, I'm going to show you a really quick trick right here. And a lot of times -- so, what we've done here, with just typing in these basic words and hitting search, we've just done a keyword search, which is going to tell the database to look for these terms anywhere in the entire article. That doesn't necessarily mean that the article is about that.

So, if you get results that are, you know, kind of close to what you're talking about but you're getting a lot of stuff that you have to wade through to get to the really relevant things, a better way to do this is to do a subject -- to search by subject term and not key term. So what is a subject term? Well, a subject term is the language that the database is using to talk about your topic. So here we have a couple words that we're not sure if they're subject words, is the correct word, teen, is that what the database is using? We really don't know. So the easiest way to find that out is to actually look for the databases either index or Thesaurus, or here it's called subject terms. Every database will have some kind of a thesaurus or an index that will let you look up keywords and figure out what the subject term would be for that. So, here we are browsing. And I want to figure out what the word is that I should use for teens. And I'm going to click this little button here that says relevancy ranked which will give us a nice cluster of words that are related to teen. And we see here that the database is telling us, use teenagers. So that's the language that the database is using to talk about teens. They're saying teenagers. We can also look this up for foster care. Because, you know, I'm not sure if foster care is the right word, if that's, you know, how the database is talking about it or not. And it will tell us, for foster care, use foster home care. So I'm going to go back to the search. I'm actually not going to look up aging out because aging out is such a unique word to foster care that what it tries to do, it takes it out of context and it try to to give me terms about aging. Another word that we have for aging out is emancipation. So what I'm going to do, instead, is I'm going to use the language that the database recommended.

So I'm going to use teenagers. And then I'm going to use foster home care, which is what the database recommended and then what I'm going to put here is aging out in quotes, so I want it to look for that exact phrase or I'm going to say, emancipation. Emancipation. So, that will tell the database to look for teenagers and foster home care and aging out or emancipation. And these two I know are subject terms so I'm actually going to select subject term from the drop-down box. Selecting subject term like this will tell the database that we want those articles to be about teenagers and foster care home care. So not just kind of randomly mentioning them somewhere in the article, we want those articles to be about those two thing. And I'm going to unselect full text and I'm going to check peer reviewed and let's see what we get with those. Okay. So now we have eight. I think I last looked, we had 16, was it? So now we have eight results, but these are going to be a lot more relevant to our topic because the database knows that we are looking for articles that are about teens aging out of foster care. So all of these should be really relevant. And if you want to kind of explore some more subject terms that are related to your topic, you can look here and just kind of have a glance at what some of these other articles are about and maybe some of these, you know, maybe you want to include child welfare, social adjustment, you know, you can add some of these in the search box or switch some out.

A lot of searching and getting really good results really is just having a willingness to experiment with your key terms and your subject terms until you get the results that you want. So, scanning through here, you know, there's only eight, we can have a look at the -- we can have a look at the abstract, get an idea of, you know, what the content is about, if it was, in fact, a study. Sometimes it talks a little bit more about what test or measure they used. And here we see some nice little boxes, and little boxes, like little charts and tables like this are often a really good indicator of statistics. So, here we have some statistics on children in foster care. Let's see what this one's about. Okay, demographics. So, that's a good hint that there will be statistics somewhere in that article. So, another way that we can look for statistics is to use a combination of, you know, our keywords and subject terms here, but then also to use some of the limiters that are available to us. So, let's actually just take a step back and look at just -- let's look at just teenagers and foster home care and get just a few more results here to play with. So, if you scroll down on this left-hand side, you have a couple of different options for refining your results. If you want to, you can set, you know, particular publication date, which will probably indicate that your research will be a little more recent, although you'll need to check.

We can limit our publication type and we can also use our different subject words -- subject terms here. And a lot of times these are subject terms that are related to your topic, but they can also be related to the different studies, so it might be things like, you know, qualitative or quantitative study, different terms that will indicate that there is some kind of a study. And then we can also look at publication, publisher, some different things. If we're still not really finding statistics using our keywords and our limiters, we can really just start adding in words that have to do with statistics into our search field. So let's try statistics -- let's try statistics. Just add statistics as a key term. Okay. So now we have three. And hopefully these are ones that really do contain statistics. Again, here's some more tables and charts, which are usually indicative of having statistics. If you're not finding very many or you're not finding a really nice wide variety of statistics, you might just need to kind of step back a little bit and broaden your term a little bit more.

So let's look at foster home care and what kind of information might be statistics on that. So now we have close to 300 results, which should give us a little bit wider of a choice, a selection, of statistics. So, over here, we have a couple different words in our subject terms now. Now that we're looking for statistics, we have some really interesting choices that we can limit to. We can limit it to descriptive statistics. We can, you know, limit to just research, data analysis, statistics, a couple different options. If I click descriptive statistics, that will reduce our number of results from almost 294 to 120. So now we're getting, you know, we're narrowing down to things that are most likely going to have statistics that are useful, that are on topic and that are useful for us. Okay. Let's see where we are now, if I've forgotten anything. Okay. So there's a couple ways to do -- you know, using statistics here, you'll notice that in our guide, we talked about, you know, using statistics, looking for statistics in articles. These are a couple keywords that we can use.

So the one that we used was statistic. But we can also use findings, we can use results, we can use analysis, we can use data. Any one of those words could go in here, so we could do findings, and we could see what that gets us. Again, just a willingness to play with it. We could do study, and that would take us -- studies that are on foster home care. You know, play with these different word choices and see if you can find something that's useful. If you have something that turns up a really really broad -- or like a really high number of results, you know, feel free to kind of narrow it down a little bit. You know, maybe now would be the right time to type in teenagers and see if we can get some good studies that are on teenagers that were in foster home care. So, be willing to play with it a little bit. And that's -- I think that's really just about what I wanted to show you today. You know, we talked about looking for statistics on the web through our professional organizations, research organizations, and government agencies. We talked about the data and statistics page, which is on the Library home page, which will help walk you through the process if you need some -- a little bit more detailed instruction. We went and found a database that was related to our subject area. We conducted a search using keywords from our topic and talked about how to use a combination of subject terms and keywords and limiters to kind of refine our results to kind of mine for those statistics that are related to our topic.

So, the last thing that I want to show you before we go over to questions is where to go to get more help. So, of course, we have the Library home page where we have the "ask a librarian" service. If you're not familiar with the ask a librarian service, it's right here on the front page. We have a really nice little e-mail form. We also now have a chat option, we've got a couple chat hours every day that you can contact us. You know, just give us a little bit of information about your topic and what kind of information you're looking for. And the kind of things we can do is, you know, we can recommend databases, we can recommend subject terms, we can send you a sample search in a database, and we can kind of help you formulate a search strategy for finding the information that you're looking for. Also on the Library home page, we have quick answers, which is incorporated into our nice one search box here on the front page. Quick answers, if you're not familiar with it, is our universitywide FAQ.

And the Library, in particular, has a really robust quick answers. We have created guides for almost everything having to do with Library research. So if you have any questions about, you know, we were talking earlier about peer review, you know F you want to know more about what peer review is, you can ask in quick answers and it will tell you, we'll get a couple different options for what is peer review, to learn more about T how do you find peer-reviewed articles, how do you verify that something is peer reviewed, and if you click on any of these, they're usually nice kind of step-by-step guides that show you how to do it. That's a really good option, especially if it's really late at night and, you know, no one on on the ask a librarian desk and you don't really want to wait, quick answers, this is where we go if we have questions. So, please feel free to use that as much as you can. I think you'd be surprised at the sort of information that you can come up with just here. Also I want to show you some of the webinars that we have available in our archive.

So right now our webinars live under help and instructional media. And we do have a number of recorded webinars that are related to Library skills, but we also do have some that are related to statistics. In particular, I want to point out for any business and management students that we have today, who might be worried about doing hook and anchor statement, we do have introduction to business statistics research, I highly recommend that you watch this webinar in addition. It's just under 30 minutes and talks about how to find those really good hook and anchor statistics. So we'll keep kind of coming out with these on the Library home page. You will see a link to all of our upcoming webinars right here. They live right here now. And if you have to work or you can't make one of these webinars, go ahead and register for it anyway because the day after the webinar, you'll get an e-mail -- a follow-up e-mail that has a link to the recording and the handouts and anything else. So even if you have to work, just go ahead and sign up for it anyhow. Oh, the last thing I wanted to talk about for help before we go over to questions is how to make a research appointment. So, if you are a dissertation or doctoral study student who's with us today, you can get one-on-one help for your Library research for your dissertation or for your literature review or your doctoral study.

So you can find that also under ask a librarian. It's right here under doctoral research appointment. This would be where to go if you do have questions specific to, you know, finding statistics on your topic or if you're not finding the results you want. Maybe it would be a good idea to sit down with one of us, depending on your program, you can just go here. I'll show you what it looks like to actually make one. We'll make one with Audrey because she's my co-pilot. Schedule an appointment with Audrey, let's see if she has any available. It will bring up a box which has a calendar, you can fill out a time, fill out a little bit of information on what it is that you need help with. And then, you know, Audrey can meet with you by phone, via Google Hangout and also by e-mail. So, I always tell my students, you know, if there's a time that's just -- you can't make that appointment time work, go ahead and make an appointment with me anyway and we can start something by e-mail and then hopefully that will be something to at least get you going until we can sit down and talk a little bit more. So, that's the end of the presentation. And I'd like to turn it over to questions. Audrey, did anything interesting come in to the question box?

Audrey: Yeah. I made sure to flag them because some of them I think I need a little bit of clarification. So, there's a question about -- okay, so I'm just going to repeat it verbatim. Does the National Association contain stats on disciplines, et cetera, including management?

Meghan: The which one? The Department of Health and Human Services?

Audrey: It wasn't specific to which one. It was a while ago, it was earlier in the presentation. But I don't want to –

Meghan: Oh, okay. So, yeah, let's see. So, finding statistics on different subjects, the first place I would take you to probably would be the Library and to that statistics page. If you're wondering kind of what resources are available for your subject area, we do have data and statistics by topic. So, you know, if you're in business and management, you can kind of see some really good resources here. You know F you're in psychology, you can see some really good -- these are all -- we've kind of hand picked these as resources that we think will get you good, reliable statistics. We also have these available, depending on your subject area, for -- under articles by topic, I've kind of gone through and flushed this out just a little bit in my data and statistics section for psychology. So, I've started adding some more -- some more resources as I find them and trying to also kind of organize them a little bit so this is like general psychology resources for statistics, but then I have, like, child and school psychology and I think social work I have a couple other areas.

So, you know, feel free to look on the Library home page, either the statistics and data page or your subject area research home, which, again, is under articles by topic right here, or you can always ask a librarian. Send us a note, say you're looking for statistics on business and we will probably point you in the direction of these resources. Audrey: Okay. So this is kind of a repeated question. So, if they're looking or researching on a particular topic, how do you know which research organization to use or how do you find one? Meghan: For a research organization? That's a really good question. I'm trying to remember exactly how I found the social work ones. I think I might have even just gone to Google and typed in something like human services and research organizations. Or sometimes also on the professional organizations pages, they have links out to research organizations that help them make policy decisions.

So you can find them that way. I'm really pretty sure that what I did was just a Google search on -- I wonder if I just did like social work and research organizations. That sounds about -- that sounds like something that I would do. Okay. So, yeah, if we do that here, it kind of pops up, social work, research, gives us a couple, a couple institutions, but also research. I also just kind of was thinking about foster care and children and that topic, and I knew just from experience that, like, the Pew Charitable Trust and I knew Annie E. Casey Foundation do a lot of work with children. So you could also approach it that way. Instead of approaching it by subject area, try to look at the topic and what research organizations might have to do with that specific topic. Audrey: Okay. What would be the next one? Okay. We kind of went over that. So, this is kind of -- okay. So, question is, what if your article or statistic is past the five-year mark? Should you abandon that? And if it's 2001 -- sorry, I'm trying to -- there's like a little -- a blooper in there.

Meghan: What to do if you find out-of-state statistics?

Audrey: Yeah, so like the U.S. Census Bureau only does their collection of data every ten years or five years or three years or whatever, what do you do?

Meghan: Yeah, that's a really good question. You know, we try to get the most recent statistics or data that you possibly can. So whatever the last one that was collected was, it really might be the most recent data you can get. And especially for government stuff, like I said, sometimes it's really slow moving. When I was just kind of scanning for statistics on this topic, most of what I found was from 2007, 2008. Which is definitely outside of the five-year timeline. I think that might be something to talk to your chair about and see if that would be considered acceptable to include, you know, what we're talking about here, for anyone who might be with us who's a master's, undergrad student, for the literature review, you really are expected to have the information that you include be from within the past five years. And from peer-reviewed sources.

When we get to statistics, especially statistics from government organizations, we're probably going to be not in either one of those. It's probably going to be older than five years and it's probably -- if it's from a government source, then that is -- government sources are not peer reviewed. But they are still reliable. And, so, that might be one of those occasions where you can argue for the justification -- you can argue that there's a justification for including that statistic, that it's the most recent, it's the most reliable information that's out there on that topic, and as long as you have a solid case for it, you know, take that to your chair and argue for its inclusion and you'll have to discuss it with them as to whether that would be appropriate or not.

Audrey: I think we covered them all. Maybe we'll just let them write in a couple more questions if they have any.

Meghan: Okay.

Audrey: I guess if we happen to miss one, we'll for up with you via e-mail. We'll hear from them either way. Meghan: Audrey, we have a few minutes left, I don't know if you have anything that I missed related to business statistics that you'd like to cover. Audrey: No. Oh, just got one. Got a live one, okay. Meghan: Got a live one, okay. Audrey: Can you go over where the statistics is on the Library home page? Meghan: Sure. So, here's the Library home page. And then I'm going to go to search and find. And scroll down to statistics and data. That's going to take you to the overview and then overhere in these tabs, in the left-hand column, you'll city statistics and data by topics, so these are subject areas. So you can find your subject area here. The resources by subject area. And then the last box here is how to search for statistics and articles. And it walks you through kind of a step by step how to go into the databases and look for statistics. So, again, that's on the Library home page under search and find and statistics and data.

Audrey: Great. And he says thank you.

Meghan: Great. Great. Well, if you do have anything about business statistics, again, I would really highly recommend going to watch the webinar, one of the recorded webinars. Audrey does live webinars, too, like, how many, once or twice a year, two or three times a year, is it, Audrey? Audrey: For statistics? Meghan: For business statistics. Audrey: At least twice. Meghan: So twice a year Audrey does these statistics, these business statistics webinars, so, you know, you can watch a recorded one. They live here under business and management Library webinar archives. It's down here at the bottom, introduction to business statistics. So you can go ahead and watch that one. But Audrey does these live where you can ask questions and get the latest updated version.

Audrey: Yup. I'll be doing it on April 6th so, if you feel like registering. Meghan: Excellent. Audrey. And that fits with your schedule.

Meghan: Yeah, so that's April 6, 2017, if you're watching the recording. And if you cannot make that, again, just -- actually if it's April 6th, it will be here listed. Here we have upcoming webinars under help and instructional media. And, yup, here it is, Introduction to Business Statistics, April 6, 2017. If you can't make it, go ahead and register anyway. The recording will be sent to you the next day. Audrey: It's a business specific question. And I'm not sure how long it will take, because if it was me, I'd still have to dig through the census bureau to find it. So, maybe what I'll do, I'll e-mail you directly and maybe I can send you a video or something along that line to help you find a survey. And I'll find out more about what you need. Meghan: Okay, excellent. [ Overlapping conversation ] Meghan: Good, yeah, that's great. Anyone else, if you have specific questions about your research and the statistics that you're trying to find, you know, a good place to start is just ask a librarian. If it's something that's too complicated that they want to pass up to one of the liaison librarians, they'll escalate it there. If you have a question like that, go ahead and send us an e-mail, get in contact with us and we'll put you in touch with the right people and help you get what you need. So, if there aren't any more questions, then perhaps we'll wrap it up for today.

Audrey: Yup, I think we're good.

Meghan: Okay. Thank you all so much for coming out today. I hope this helps you be a little bit more comfortable going out and finding statistics. If you need any more help, please feel free to get in contact with us through ask a librarian or e-mailing Audrey and I and we will be happy to help you. So I will let you go. And have a good rest of your day.

 

End Transcript

 

Created June 2018 by Walden University Library