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Social Sciences: Web Resources

originally posted at (sharing policy)

Before you look at a web page, remember that on the Internet nobody knows you're a dog.  Anyone can write anything on the Internet and it doesn't have to be true.  There are a couple of tools for assessing the quality of websites, one of which is the CRAAP test: a list of criteria that you can use to assess the credibility of a source.  If you're doing research on the Internet, consider the following:

Currency:  when was the information posted, has it been revised or updated, does it reflect current knowledge, do the links work?

Relevance: who is the page aimed at, is the information at an appropriate level, how does it compare to other sources on the same topic, would you be happy to use this a source if you were writing an assignment/dissertation?

Authority: who wrote the page, do they have any qualifications & and are they relevant to the topic, is there contact information, what is the top level domain e.g .com (companies) .gov (government), .org (non-profit organisation), .edu/.ac (educational )?

Accuracy, what the source of the information, is it evidence-based, what kind of language is used, what is the tone of the page, is it free from grammatical or spelling errors, can you verify any of the information independently?

Purpose: why does the page exist, is the author trying to inform, persuade, entertain or sell you something, are the intentions clear, is it objective, Are there political, cultural or other biases?

Some good Social Sciences related websites. If you find any broken links, or are a DBS staff member or student who wants to suggest a site for inclusion, please contact the library.  If you are neither staff nor student, your unsolicited suggestions will be ignored.  Last revised 14/09/2018



Ensures wide access to quantitative datasets in the social sciences, and advances international comparative studies of the Irish economy and society.

Standard documentation on recurring official statistics and links to where they can be found.

A specialist social policy research library, open to the public and free of charge. Includes extensive collection on subjects including Irish and international social policy.

Official website of the Central Statistics Office, providing statistics on various sectors of Irish life including the national Census.

The government department responsible for Ireland's welfare system, overseeing the provision of income support and other social services.

An independent research institute aiming to provide evidence-based research to inform public policy debate and decision-making.

Advises the government on areas of policy relating to social and economic development.

The national agency responsible for supporting the provision of information, advice and advocacy on social service.

The national professional body for social workers in the Republic of Ireland.

Executive agency for national and regional health sevices.

Reviews health and social care services and supports informed decisions on how services are delivered.

Promotes and protects human rights and equality in Ireland with a view to build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding.

An access point for qualitative social science data generated in or about Ireland.

Promotes, encourages and fosters high standards and good practices in the delivery of mental health services and protects the interests of patients who are involuntarily admitted.

Promotes Palliative Care through opportunities for networking, education, publications and representation on national bodies.

Independent think tank which aims to build a more just society by providing credible analysis and effective policy development.

Supports the Minister and Government in developing and implementing Government strategies for preventing, reducing and ultimately eliminating poverty and social exclusion.

The professional association for sociologists researching and studying Irish society, as well as sociologists working in Ireland.

Aims to provide a forum for the analysis, discussion and development of social policy in Ireland, both North and South.

Official Garda Síochána website, featuring annual reports and statistics relating to road accidents and crime.



UK's leading agency for research funding and training in economic and social sciences.

The UK’s largest database of information and research on all aspects of social care and social work.

Disseminates evidence-informed practice in children’s care services.

Improves the lives of people reliant on care services by sharing knowledge about best practice.

The national subject association for sociologists in the UK, whose primary objective is to promote sociology.

Key statistics collected by the European Central Bank regarding finance in the Eurozone.

The statistical office of the European Union, offering high quality statistical data about member countries.

A multinational survey which measures social change in Europe across various indicators.



Contains over 1,000 types of indicators and raw data on education, literacy, science and technology, culture and communication. Allows users to download predefined tables or build their own. Summary data (profiles and global rankings) are also available.

A guide to sociological resources on the Internet.

Resources and links to other locations on the Web regarding applied social research methods.

"How-to" do program evaluation and social research: surveys, focus groups, sampling, interviews, and other methods.

WHO data on global health, including indicators such as income, population density and environmental factors.

A wide selection of UN resources, including official documentation, statistics, and multimedia materials.





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