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-Spencer L. Simons, former Director, O'Quinn Law Library and Associate Professor of Law



Friday, July 8, 2011

Public Opinion Surveys

Public opinion surveys are conducted on a wide variety of topics such as the environment, education, health, and international affairs. If your research requires information about public opinion, there are a number of resources you can use to find this type of data.

Many different types of organizations collect polling data. For instance, some news organizations such as ABC News, NPR, and the New York Times conduct polls and place the data on their websites. There are also polling organizations that make their survey results available to the public. The Harris Vault website provides data from The Harris Poll back to 1963 and the Pew Research Center website supplies data from their People & the Press surveys back to 1997.

However, the library also offers access to subscription databases that pull together public opinion datasets from a number of different sources, some of which are discussed above. The first is the iPOLL Databank from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. This database contains over 17,000 datasets from the U.S. and other nations back to the 1930s. The library also has access to ProQuest Statistical Insight. While this database offers access to a variety of statistical information, it also contains public opinion survey data from commercial publishers, research organizations, and universities.

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