How Can I Find Statistics For My Paper?

I need statistics for my paper …. I need data on the alternative fuel use in the United States … I need to know how many people jog or skate… Librarians hear these types of questions very often. There are a myriad of statistical sources available on the Internet, however it can be difficult to find where to start.

ProQuest-logoStatistical Abstract of the United States is a comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. This resource is a great starting point to locate statistics on almost any topic. Statistical Abstract of the United States was published annually by the American government from 1878-2012 and is one of the best known statistical reference publications. Since 2013 it is published in print and online by ProQuest and is available through GALILEO. To access click Databases A-Z on GALILEO home page and select Statistical Abstract of the United States in alphabetical list. GPC GALILEO password is required to use this resource off-campus.

From the Statistical Abstract homepage you can both search and browse. Search using the box at the top of the table of contents. Browse any of the 30 sections by clicking on the section name.


Results from browsing will include the section title and information, as well as the link to download the entire PDF section. Results from both searching and browsing include the number of tables in the result set, and the list of the individual tables in your results.
Use the facets in the left column to refine search results

The easiest way to find tables relevant to your research is to type your keyword in the search box. (For example, type “bowling” if you want to find out how many people participate in this activity.) Quite often the data in the tables is organized by year, age, gender or household income to help you get a complete picture.
The source information is just below the table, so you will always know what government agency collected the information you are using.
Publication information is also below the table. Sample APA and MLA citations are at the bottom of the page.
To learn more about this great reference tool, visit Quick Start: Statistical Abstract of the United States research guide created by ProQuest.

And please ask us if you have more questions or need help finding good statistical sources!

~Sofia Slutskaya, Librarian, Clarkston Campus

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Help Us…Help YOU! Take the Library Survey!

Take the library survey!From March 31- April 18 the GPC Libraries will be running a user satisfaction survey. You can click on the graphic above, which is also displayed on our library homepage, to take the survey. If you don’t want to fill it out online, you can fill out a print version at any GPC library on April 2nd and April 3rd from 10am-11am.

Our message is “Help us Help YOU,” which is exactly what we are seeking: information and opinions from our users, so that we may better help YOU achieve your goals.

The survey should only take a few minutes of your time to complete, but it will provide invaluable information on your library experience.

Thanks for your help!

~GPC Libraries Marketing Committee, on Behalf of all Library Staff

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Retirement of Christine Dennis, Clarkston Circulation Manager

Christine DennisChristine Dennis retires on March 28, 2014, marking the end of a long and productive career. She has worked at Georgia Perimeter College for 27 years, exclusively in Clarkston library’s Circulation Department. Christine began as a part-time library assistant, moving up in ranks over the years as Library Assistant II, Library Assistant III, Library Technical Assistant, and finally, Circulation Department Manager.

Christine has been married for 46 years to her high school sweetheart, Robert Dennis. They are parents to Lajuana Robinson and Terrez Dennis, and the proud grandparents of Mickell, Alexis, Amari, and Miyah. After her retirement, Christine looks forward to spending more time with her family. She will especially enjoy attending her granddaughters’ cheer competitions, as well as her grandsons’ baseball and basketball games. She looks forward to her two oldest grandchildren graduating from high school this year and attending college this fall. Christine is also a devoted member of her DeKalb County community. She plans to continue her volunteer work with the county.

Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of working with Christine knows that she is a remarkable woman: strong, kind, wise, funny, and thoughtful. It is with bittersweet emotions that we bid farewell to our colleague and friend. Thank you, Christine, for your years of service to Georgia Perimeter College! Congratulations and best wishes for your retirement!

~Susan Her, Library Technical Services

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Citation Puzzles: Solved!

Graphic by kreezzalee, CC BY 2.0 license.

Graphic by kreezzalee, CC BY 2.0 license.

The research is done, the sources have been gathered, and you are ready to prepare a list of References or a Works Cited page for your assigned paper. Puzzled about where and how to get started? The answer depends on the subject you are writing about. Why? Because different subjects will require that you use citation styles designed for that type of research.   For instance, an English research paper on the author John Steinbeck will use MLA (Modern Language Association) format.  If you are writing a psychology paper on psychologist Jean Piaget, you will use APA (American Psychological Association) format. Check with your instructor to verify which style to use for your paper.

Once you have completed your research and collected the information for your citations, Georgia Perimeter College libraries have some excellent resources to get you on your way.  Begin at the GPC Libraries “Cite Your Sources” page, where you can find several citation links.  You can print handouts or use them online.

Purdue University provides an excellent writing resource for students, OWL at Purdue Online Writing Lab. They offer over 200 free resources including: Writing and Teaching Writing; Research; Grammar and Mechanics; and Style Guides.

For additional information on citing and organizing your sources, see our other blog posts on citations, and this research guide.

If you need more ‘face to face’ assistance with writing and organizing your paper, stop by the Learning and Tutoring Centers on your GPC campus. The Learning and Tutoring Center staff specializes in helping you with writing your paper, proofreading, format, style, grammar, organization. They are happy to help! Hours of operation vary by location, so check the hours for the location you’d like to visit.

Now that the puzzle is solved, it’s time to get to work! Remember there is plenty of help from your professor, GPC Libraries, and GPC Learning and Tutoring Centers. Good luck and happy citing!

~Ellen Barrow, Librarian, Clarkston Campus

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GALILEO News You Can Use

We all love GALILEO discovery service for the ease of use and the wide variety of results, however the long list of search results can be a little overwhelming sometimes. Recently, GALILEO staff made some improvements to help us find relevant results faster.


discover_advanced3The Advanced Search link right under the search box, can be a handy tool if you want to limit your results to a specific subject area.

You can select one or multiple subjects to only retrieve results in those subjects. If you reconsidered your discipline selection after reviewing the results list,  click the little X in the Current Search box to remove it.

Some other features of Advanced Search include limiting your results to full-text only, to only scholarly (peer reviewed journals) or to specific publication dates.

Making Advanced Search the starting point of your GALILEO discovery will always help you arrive at better, more relevant results a little faster.

According to GALILEO staff, Research Starters is “...a new feature in Discovery search results that provides citable, authoritative summary articles for thousands of popular topics. Research Starters appear at the top of the results list and include an overview of the topic, links to related information, helpful images, and a bibliography“.

Not all topics have Research Starter articles associated with them. To investigate this new feature, GALILEO staff suggests to try one of these:  mythology, cancer, John Steinbeck, pollution, global warming, mitosis, Nelson Mandela, common core, cuisine, Ukraine, brain disorders, girl scouts, Olympics, Korean War, witchcraft, tourism, evolution of the universe, bipolar disorders, net neutrality, exercise physiology, nuclear fusion, or baseball. Research Starter articles offer all familiar and convenient features: they can be cited, printed, downloaded, e-mailed, saved in your personal folder or read to you.

Enjoy exploring new GALILEO features and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions.

~Sofia Slutskaya, Technical Services Librarian

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African American History Month Resources

Section of Canoe for Transporting Slaves, Sierra Leone, 1840’s (Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database)

Section of Canoe for Transporting Slaves, Sierra Leone, 1840’s (Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database)

African American History Month is a celebration and commemoration of the culture, arts, literature and history of African Americans. Originally conceived as Negro History Week in February 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the celebration coincided with the birth days of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. During the week, the valuable contributions of people of African descent to the history of the United States and the world were highlighted. Black History Week was extended to a month in 1976 which was also the United States bicentennial anniversary. From its inception African American History Month has been and is a necessary response to a general lack of public attention given to the contributions of African Americans.

There are many valuable resources in Georgia Perimeter College library’s print and electronic collections for researching and learning about African American history and culture.  Here we will examine two databases in GALILEO that will provide relevant information on the history of African Americans.

African American Biographical Database (AABD) is a collection of biographical information on African Americans from 1790-1950. [Please note: this database is not available off-campus]. It includes profile and full text sketches and photographs of African Americans from all walks of life, including former enslaved Africans, performing artists, and scientists.  The collection includes information on both famous individuals as well as everyday people.  You will find AABD useful for various things like:

  • Accessing personal accounts and stories
  • Locating historic pictures and illustrations
  • Researching political movements like the Abolitionist Movement and the NAACP
  • Uncovering and confirming family names and links useful for genealogical research

Another relevant database for researching the history of African Americans is Voyages:  The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade database.  This database provides information and resources on more than 35,000 voyages that forcibly transported over 12 million Africans to the Americans during the 16th to the 19th centuries.  It includes information on slave vessels and slave ship routes, enslaved Africans in the Americas and their slave owners and traders. The various things you can do with this database are:

  • Search the African Names Database that includes captured Africans’ names, ages, genders, countries of origin and places of embarkation and disembarkation
  • Research particular trans-Atlantic slave voyages
  • Create maps and tables using information on those voyages
  • Explore the images databases which includes manuscripts and illustrations
  • Read essays on the African slave trade,  slavery in the Americas and abolition
  • Utilize the timeline and chronology for numerical estimates as well as the glossary for a better understanding of relevant and related vocabulary

There are other databases within GALILEO that are helpful to researching the history and culture of African Americans such as the Civil Rights Digital Library and Annals of American History Online.  Also, a research guide is available listing many more sources, both online and in print. Remember, the library staff is available and eager to assist with your research on African American history!

~Dawn Wright Williams, Part Time Reference Librarian, Decatur Campus

Image citation: Section of Canoe for Transporting Slaves, Sierra Leone, 1840’s. JPEG. Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database. (accessed February 10, 2014).

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Personal Research Services with EBSCOhost and JSTOR

Did you ever want a personal research assistant 24/7? Two of our databases offer services that get to know your preferences, keep a record of your research, and send early alerts on new articles. Try some of these time saving and research enhancing features in EBSCOhost and JSTOR.

EBSCOhost AccountEhost

1. Permanently saving searches and/or creating alerts

In most EBSCO databases, searches are saved during one session so that they can be revised or combined. If you are involved in an elaborate research project and have given lots of care to construct a really effective search, you might want it saved permanently so you can go back to it later.  You may even want the database to notify you when new articles are published that fit your search criteria. After searching, go to Search History, select the search(es) you want to save, then choose the “Save searches / Alerts”  link and enter information requested as new screens appear. You can revisit the search and get daily, weekly, or monthly updates.

Ehost32. Creating permanent custom folders that can be shared with others

Many of you know how to save items to a folder, then email the folder to yourself.  If you’d like to keep those items organized in the EBSCO cloud, be logged in when you go to “Folder View,” then create a custom folder and move all the newly found items to it. Every custom folder can be shared and opened by a collaborator with an EBSCOhost account; just click share under the title, and an email window pops up. Great for group projects!

3. Personalize how you receive results

When logged into My EBSCOhost, you can set the results to show up to 50 per page.  The print doesn’t get smaller, the results just scroll. Make this choice with the Preferences tab.  You can also alter the look of the page and the length of each entry.

JSTOR Account

JS11. JSTOR is even easier to use.  Once you are registered, logged in, and have a great search you want to save, look for the single box in the right column that lets you name, save, and set up alerts for the search.

2. My JSTOR also allows you to save citations (though not in any specific bibliographic format) and create alerts for journal titles, so you’ll be notified when new articles from your favorite journal appear in the database.JS2

3. Finally, JSTOR has a new program (in beta) called Register and Read whereby a user with a My JSTOR account can read up to 3 articles in some journal titles, even if GPC doesn’t have a subscription.  You can read more about it in this brochure.

Contact a librarian if you need some assistance.  We’re always glad to help!

~Pat Ziebart, Dunwoody Librarian

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