Research in the Social Sciences follows a systematic plan that uses specific research methods and techniques. Broadly speaking, social scientific methodology is classified as quantitative or qualitative, although there are mixed methods as well.
Social Science research typically involves conducting a literature review as a preliminary phase. The literature review establishes what scholarship has already been published on the topic at hand, and how the currently conducted research builds upon and adds to the existing scholarly conversation.
There are many data sets that are available online. You should expect federally collected data such as from the Census or the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be publicly available. There are also many organizations that publish their data online. Finally, federally funded research projects in recent years are all required to publish their data publicly online. The following are just a handful of useful data sites.
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