When looking for data, ask yourself these following questions:
Navigating where to start to find and reuse data in your research can be a tricky process. Luckily, UT Libraries is here to help you! Feel free to reach out to our Data Services Team at email@example.com .
When starting your search, start with a search engine.
There is nothing wrong with searching Google or other search engines (DuckDuckGo, anyone?) for relevant data, just by trying some keywords (e.g., "incarceration rates in the US"). This will often surface some of the major sources of data, sometimes in the form of a press release. It is important to dig further into the sources you find in order to look for complete, downloadable datasets.
There are an increasing number of search sites that offer up data directly, such as Data.gov (for open data released by US governmental agencies, sometimes in very raw form) and Datacite.org (providing a basic index to dataset that have received a Digital Object Identifier, often scholarly in nature). These sites can sometimes producing an overwhelming number of hits on a general topic, so refine your search!
Once you have your topic narrowed down, it's easier to then go to subject specific data archives and resources!