Answered By: Susan Van Alstyne
Last Updated: Jun 19, 2017     Views: 55

This is a very broad question, and what you find will depend on the topic that you are researching.

  1. First, determine whether or not you can use actual statistics, such as you might find from the U.S.Census Bureau, the United Nations, CIA World Factbook or other appropriate government and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that gather information for statistical purposes. You may also try some of our Berkeley databases that house statistical information, such as Opposing Viewpoints or Country Watch.
  1. But if you truly need articles, you will need to be creative and prepared to do more than one search.Using the search term “demographics” may bring you some returns, however you might be missing quite a few documents that way. As an example, let’s say you are looking for information on obesity in Brazil. Search terms that may bring up the kind of information you are looking for are:
  • Demographics
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence
  • Rate
  • Statistics
  • Study

So, in an advanced search database interface, you could try combinations such as (but certainly not limited to):

Brazil + obesity + demographics

  • Try more than one search to see what you come up with. Different experts or organizations may use different terminology to describe similar things.
  • And always look at the suggested/related topics and thesauri that the databases provide. These helpful tools let you know how these sorts of articles are described by the database company, providing more avenues to get the material that you are looking for.  
  • You may begin to notice that some journals are geared specifically to this type of topic – you may wish to concentrate on searching one of these periodicals.
  • Make sure that you check the date of the material that you find. If your information must apply to a specific time period, use the date limiter in the database during the search process.
  • Try changing the drop-down menu to “Abstract” instead of keyword next to the name of the country.
  • You may also wish to search only in certain kinds of publication types, document types, or in articles that contain graphs or charts, which may indicate the use of statistics.
  • Use the abstract (summary) of the article to help determine if it has the kind of information you are looking for.

Good multi-purpose databases to try are:

  • Academic One File
    • In “Subject Guide Search” try typing in “Demographics” for additional information.

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