Support for finding data

The University Library provides VU Amsterdam students and staff with access to a variety of online sources for gathering economic, financial, geographic, demographic and sociological data. VU Amsterdam students and staff can search the commercial databases for which the University Library has a subscription free of charge. In addition, there are many free, publicly accessible databases, such as those kept by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the OECD. Consult the Libguide Finding data for an overview of the databases you can search.

We offer three kinds of data support:
1. Online libguides: Finding dataWorking with data.
2. Free Workshops: Finding and merging data .
3. Visit the drop-in hour or make an appointment if you have a specific question (timeschedule below).

Accessing the databases and making reservations
Some databases can only be accessed from computers on campus with dedicated software installed. Consult the Libguide Finding data to find out what you need to access the databases for which the University Library has a licence. The Research Data Services team can help you with questions on data availability and access. Contact
The databases Datastream, IBES, Worldscope, and ASSET4 ESG are available only at the following locations in the Main Building:
- 5B-06
- 1A-01J

Economic and financial data
The economic and financial databases, such as Datastream and SDC Platinum, contain such information as company data, share prices, market research and macroeconomic statistics.

Geographic, demographic and sociological data
The databases kept by Statistics Netherlands, the OECD, the EU, the World Bank and other parties contain sociological and demographic data, as well as economic data. Many of these data are accompanied by geographic information. At VU Geoplaza, you can download geographic data or overlay your own data on existing maps.

The Research Data Services Team can help you:
- translate your research question into a data search;
- build a high-quality data set.
If you are a lecturer, we can organise a workshop to incorporate into your course.

Online courses: Finding data and Working with data
• The Libguide Finding data provides an overview of all the databases that you can access through the University Library, the type of data in these databases and how to access them.
• The Libguide Working with data contains advice about such topics as organising your data, merging different data sets and using a variety of software tools.

Workshops: Finding and merging data
Join our free workshops. They will teach you how to search using various platforms and how to merge and structure data sets using Stata or Excel in order to make them easier to analyse.
• Finding economic data
• Merging data using Stata OR • Merging data using Excel
• Finding and merging data using Excel OR • Finding and merging data using Stata
Don't forget to sign up.

Do you have a specific question? Visit the drop-in hour or make an appointment
Do you have a specific question that is not answered in the online courses or workshops? Then you can visit the drop-in helpdesk:
- January and February on Wednesday between 13h00 and 16h00.
- April to June on Tuesday and Thursday between 13h00 and 16h00.
The helpdesk is in room 1B21 in the main building.
You can also schedule a personal appointment. Contact

Students about our workshops
Suleyman Avzaly, Accountancy & Control Master’s student: ‘Now I know where to find databases with economic and financial data, how to use them and how to merge data from different sources.  The workshop was taught in a small group and one-on-one help was available.’

Kiethan Vijayabalan, Business Administration pre-Master’s student: ‘We’re about to start writing papers, so the information provided in this workshop was really useful. It was informative and yet practical at the same time. I liked how it took your through the data gathering and merging process step by step. The tip about how to access the databases from off-campus also came in handy! If you remember during the weekend that you have to hand something in on Monday, it will save you a lot of stress.’

For lecturers
If you teach a course that frequently requires students to work with data, the RDS Team can:
- organise a workshop or class to incorporate into your course;
- help you find suitable data for exercises or examples.
Contact to discuss the options.