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CPP 494 Community Works

Google, Gov Docs and Statistics Screencast

Generating Keywords for Searching Gov Sources on the Web

Your success searching for information online, whether an ASU Library Database or an open Web search, often depends on using and finding the appropriate keywords to use.  You may have one way to describe your issue, but be alert to alternatives.  Brainstorming other keywords to search is a good idea, but also check the sources you find to see what they are using to describe your issue.  

Below are examples of alternate keywords for each of the most common social issues affecting communities that you may be researching.  There are also suggestions for searching in Google to find statistics, government and social organization documents.  

YOUR BASIC SEARCH:  your topic statistics site:.gov  (try also site:.org and site:.edu for other reliable sources)

  • For your state, county or city, add it to your search (example: homeless statistics maricopa county site:.gov).

Below are links to major federal government websites with a few alternative reliable sites for the most common issues.

These are ONLY starting points for your research. 

Food Security:  

Alternate Keywords:  Food Insecurity; Hunger

Food Security in the U.S.: Key Statistics and Graphs (United States Department of Agriculture)

Homelessness:    

Homeless Statistics by State (United States Interagency Council on Homelessness)

Domestic Violence:  

Alternate Keywords:  Intimate Partner Violence; Family Violence

20 Alarming Domestic Violence Statistics for 2018 (Social Solutions; this in NOT a government site but the statistics are sourced and come from government agencies)

National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2015 Data Brief (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Sexual Assault:

Rape and Sexual Assault (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Sexual Violence (National Center for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice)

Racial Discrimination:  

Alternate Keywords: This is a very multifaceted issue and can be approached a number of ways.  For example, keyword searches could include Housing Discrimination, Racial Profiling, Mass Incarceration

Charge Statistics Filed with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; yearly charges of workplace discrimination)

Discipline Disparities for Black Students, Boys and Students with Disabilities (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Police Violence and Brutality:  

Alternate Keywords:  Police Use of Force, Police Misconduct, Citizen Complaints and Police

Use of Force (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Citizen Complaints About Police Use of Force (Bureau of Justice Statistics)

Substance Abuse:

Alternate Keywords:  Drug Abuse, Illegal Drug Use

Trends and Statistics (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Illegal Drug Use (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Opioid Abuse:

Alternate Keywords:  Opioid Addiction, Opioid Deaths, Opioid Crisis, Opioid Epidemic 

Opioid Overdose, (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Drug Overdose Mortality by State (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Mental Health:

Alternate Keywords:  Mental Illness, Mental Disorders

Mental Health Information: Statistics (National Institute of Mental Health)

Climate Change:

Alternate Keywords:  Global Warming

Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA)

Climate Analysis and Statistics (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA)

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