Using Public Data From Different Sources

Chapter byYair Cohen in Maximizing Social Science Research Through Publicly Accessible Data Sets, book edited by S. Marshall Perry: “The United States federal government agencies as well as states agencies are liberating their data through web portals. Web portals like,,, and many others on the state level provide great opportunity for researchers of all fields. This chapter shows the challenges and the opportunities that lie by merging data from different pubic sources. The researcher collected and merged data from the following datasets: NYSED school report card, NYSED Fiscal Profile Reporting System, Civil Rights Data Collection, and Census 2010 School District Demographics System. The challenges include data validation, data cleaning, flatting data for easy reporting, and merging datasets based on text fields….(More)”.