Before you can start any research on your topic, you must have a background knowledge of it. Books and websites can provide you with that knowledge.
This is important because:
Background sources give you the language that people are using to discuss your topic. You will use this language when you start to search databases for scholarly articles and resources on the topic.
This "pre-research" gives you a sense if your topic is focused enough. If your initial searches bring back so many results you can't even figure out what the language is, then you should consider narrowing your topic.
Remember, background information is always a starting point for research, not an ending point.
The Health Statistics and Numerical Data subject guide includes some of the major sources of health and general statistics in the United States and a brief list of international resources. This subject guide is not meant to be comprehensive but to serve as a pointer to major information sources.
This is a guide for locating Data and Statistical information. We use the term data to describe numeric, textual, photographic, audio, visual formats that have been produced as a result of or to support research.