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Research Commons: Research Data

Research data services

The Research Commons provides resources and services to address the growing usage of statistical, numerical, and geospatial data by SFU graduate researchers across many disciplines.

SFU Research Data Library

The Research Data Library provides access to quantitative survey research data, and to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and digital spatial data.

SFU Data Services provide assistance with:

  • data access
  • data preparation
  • custom subsetting
  • mentoring

For assistance with research data services, please contact Carla Graebner.

Research data sources

Abacus Dataverse Network

A research data repository run by the British Columbia Research Libraries' Data Services. It contains SFTP access to data files such as Social survey files, DLI data, GIS datasets, and geospatial data.

Nesstar (Abacus)

A data discovery tool that provides researchers with the ability to search for survey questions and variables across hundreds of datasets held in a number of collections. Simple data analysis may also be performed.

Nesstar WebView (Statistics Canada)

A data discovery tool that provides researchers with the ability to search for survey questions and variables across hundreds of datasets held in a number of collections. Simple data analysis may also be performed.


Please note, as of March 14th, access to CANSIM via the Statistics Canada website is currently unavailable. We will update this record when access is restored. CANSIM (the CANadian Socio-economic Information Management database) is produced by Statistics Canada. This database contains time series of Canadian data on national accounts, financial institutions, corporate finance, government, population, labour, prices, construction, investment, trade, travel and industry. The earliest date is 1901, and some series contain more detail than is published in print form.

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

A central repository and dissemination service for machine-readable social science data. ICPSR supplies social science data files for use with statistical software, such as SAS or SPSS.

Aboriginal Identity by Age and Sex (Custom Tabulation)

A custom table based on a 25% sample from the 2016 Canadian Census in Beyond 20/20 format containing aboriginal identity, age and sex excluding institutional residents of Canada, Provinces and Territories.

Canadian Census Analyser

The Canadian Census Analyser provides access to Canadian Census Data. It includes census tables with summary statistics for a variety of geographic levels, as well as microdata files with random samples of raw data.

Census Program

This is Statistics Canada's portal to the data collected every five years during the national census, along with relevant analysis and reference information. It covers 1996 to the present and includes the Census of Population and the Census of Agriculture.

CFMRC TSX Database

The Canadian Financial Markets Research Centre (CFMRC) Summary Information Database. Daily and monthly Toronto Stock Exchange trading information.

CHASS (Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences) Data Centre

A collection of on-line databases and custom built search and retrieval programs are maintained by Computing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) at the University of Toronto.

Cross-National Times-Series Data Archive.

A wide ranging archive which collects annual data from many countries around the world, starting from 1815 to the present. Contains an extensive list of variables which can be analyzed and contrasted.

Custom Detailed Occupation Census Tract data for 1991, 2001, and 2011

A custom set of 5 tables from the NHS (National Health Survey).

DMTI Spatial

A collection of GIS data products for Canada. Access to the following GIS data products: CanMap streetfiles -- CanMap route logistics -- Canadian atlas map bundle -- Postal geography -- GeoPinpoint geocoding software -- Shorelined boundaries and census data for Canada.

International Historical Statistics

Access to International Historical Statistics covering 1750-2010.

Ipsos Canadian Public Affairs Dataverse

Datasets from over 60 surveys conducted by Ipsos Canada, covering up to 2017. Covers Canadian culture, politics, and society, e.g. housing studies, electoral polls, consumer preferences.

LiPaD: Linked Parliamentary Data Project

Search within the full text, speaker names, parties and topics of the Canadian House of Commons Hansard (debate transcripts) from 1901 present. Linked to biographical information about parliamentarians, including party, gender, constituency demographic profiles and election outcomes. Senate and parliamentary committee debate transcripts are being added.

Sage Research Methods Datasets

SAGE Research Methods Datasets is a collection of teaching datasets and instructional guides that give students a chance to learn data analysis by practicing themselves.


Microdata Analysis and Subsetting provides interactive access to a growing list of selected microdata files via SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis) software.


A statistics portal that integrates statistics from thousands of sources and provides simple exports of both data and charts in multiple formats.

Statistics Canada Web Data Server

The Statistics Canada Web Data Server provides access to aggregate data using the Beyond 20/20 platform

Research data management

MANTRA - Research Data Management Training
MANTRA is a free online course created by EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh. MANTRA is designed for researchers who work with data and includes information on managing their research data.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), maps, and geospatial data

SFU Library provides services and support for researchers using GIS and maps across all disciplines. Access resources and services here.

Services and support include:

  • access to geospatial data
  • GIS training
  • provision of GIS software
  • access to the map collection
  • guidelines for citing geospatial data and maps
  • GIS networking and events


The Research Data Library contains a large collection of local, provincial, national and international statistical data including access to CANSIM, Canadian Census data, and many other statistical sources.

For more information on statistics, consult the following SFU Research Guides:

Statistical Sources is a listing of databases and indexes to collections of statistical data (e.g. Statistics Canada, BC Stats, World Development Indicators, etc.) available to SFU graduate researchers.