Finding data for your article or paper

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 have access to.

Support for finding and using data
•    Online libguides: Finding data & Working with data.
•    Visit the drop-in hour or make an appointment if you have a specific question (timeschedule below).

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

Geographic, demographic and sociological data
The databases 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.

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
•    translate your research question into a data search;
•    build a high-quality data set.

For lecturers, we can organise a workshop as part of your course.

Online: 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 available 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.

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 the Instruction Room 1A-01L in the Library in the main building.
You can also schedule a personal appointment. Contact

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.