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Data-Seeking Behavior of Economics Graduate Students: If you buy it, will they come?

Presenter 1
Eimmy Solis
New York University

Current data needs in the field of Economics are largely met through readily available open sources from government agencies, international organizations and non-profit organizations like the National Bureau of Economic Research that freely provide full-text of working papers and data. Proprietary data is also important for research in this area, but is often only available through library-licensed databases. When novice economics graduate students independently seek data, where do they look and why? Are library-licensed data sources being used in addition to widely known free web resources?

Through a series of focus group interviews, I am investigating the strategies used to find information online by graduate and PhD students in Economics degree programs at New York University. The study hopes to understand what type of information and resources students use to conduct their research to evaluate current library and publicly available resources related to Economics. The study will assess the quality of data found, identify data trends and innovative search strategies by students. The results will enhance the library's outreach and teaching strategies to improve students' research skills in finding reliable data and lead to data-driven collection development that is more closely tied with the information seeking behavior of economics students.

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