The Guardian’s DataStore is an example of data journalism, where stories are generated from data available on a particular topic. Now that there is a move towards open data with governments and institutions opening up their statistics the scope for this form of journalism is growing. The Guardian presents the data they are collecting in a variety of formats, from interactive charts and blog posts to spreadsheets. All can be accessed from the DataStore’s hompage. For example, this interactive guide to government spending:
One great feature of the DataStore is the ability to search government data for countries, cities and states around the world via the Global Development gateway. This data is collected from sources such as the IMF, World Bank and United Nations.
You can also view a list of all of the Guardian’s data blog posts and spreadsheets in one table. This is really useful to see the range of topics covered.
Zanran is a new search engine which enables you to find freely available data and statistics presented as graphs, charts or tables. Unlike Google and other leading search engines it searches for this formatted numerical data within documents.
A really nice feature of the site is the results preview. This can be viewed by hovering the cursor over the document icon in the results list.
One thing to watch out for is that in the results list only the top-level domain of the source is given. Ideally you would be looking for the full URL of the document in order to be able to locate it later and reference it correctly. The site is in beta so hopefully this feedback will be taken and included in any further updates to the site.
To get an idea of the kinds of searches you can run on zanran there is a page of examples, including:
- oil consumption in brazil
- infant mortality rate in europe
- M4 money supply uk
- GDP growth china
Many students prefer to use Google Scholar to find articles for their class reading and assignments. From on campus a Warwick access link can be seen next to articles where the full-text is available through a Warwick subscription.
You can configure Google Scholar to show these links if you are off-campus too, just follow the steps below:
- Go to http://scholar.google.co.uk/
- If you have a Google account sign in. This will allow you to set the preferences so that you can access articles through the Warwick access link on any computer
- Click the ‘Scholar Preferences’ link in the top right corner
- Under Library Links search for Warwick and check the box next to ‘University of Warwick Library – Warwick access’
- Finally click the ‘Save Preferences’ button
- When using these links from off-campus you will be prompted for your Warwick logon