Lookup Databases


Remember, before using any data in a story, question the data:

  • Who compiled it?
  • Why was it compiled?
  • Where did the data come from?
  • For numbers, find the index, so you know what each unit of data means
  • and remember mistakes are common in databases so telephone the source to confirm questionable info

Topics

Agriculture/Food Education Property Taxes
Business Environment Research
Courts Government Safety (fire et al)
Covid-19 Health Sports
Crime Nonprofits/Charities Transportation
Data People Finders Weather
Demographics Polls
Dis/Misinformation Politics
Click the underlined category above to jump directly to it.

 

Agriculture

  • Crop Production Data for NY State – what crops are grown, on how many acres, at what value
  • Onondaga Grown campaign — find local farms, farmers markets and restaurants serving locally-produced foods

Business

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics — databases, tables and calculators on employment pay, inflation and much more
  • Edgar database –from the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. Get basic information and finances for publicly-held companies:
    • 10-K — the annual report
    • 10- Q – covers business operations, property, finances, pending suits, officers, general background
    • 8-K — required for significant changes such as a sale, new management, a lawsuit,  court judgment or fines
    • DEF 14A of Form 14(a) breaks down executive compensation
    • S-4 — shows when corporate management buys of sells shares in the company, for example if the CEO or CFO is unloading or buying up the stock
    • S-1 outlines the company’s initial public offering (IPO)  when the company is first going public
  • NERDS database from Edunomics Lab at Georgetown — provides the federal data on how much is spent per school (rather than by district). Must register to download the spreadsheet . This will take some time and data crunching to analyze and see the webinar on this page for an overview.
  • NY State Employee Salary Database from Post Standard. Use your SU subscription to access.
  • Trade/ Imports Exports — info and statistics
  • Statistica via SU Libraries — all types of statistics here
  • Union disclosure info from US Dept of Labor — officers, payees, financials.  See this help guide  
  • Violation Tracker from Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First —  corporate misconduct of consumer protection,  environment, wage & hour, safety, discrimination, price-fixing, and more from 2000. Plus some state cases.

Courts

  • Civil case search for Auburn, Cortland, Ithaca, Oneida, Rome Syracuse, Utica and other  City Courts in NYS
  • Civil case search for  supreme court civil cases in NYS counties.
  • Criminal case search (some counties, not Onondaga)
  • Indictments  —  Onondaga County from Post Standard. 
  • Uniform Crime Reports — reported violent crimes (agencies over 10,000) or by state

Covid-19 Resources

Crime

LOCAL

  • Blotters — CNY/local blotters — searchable by name, date, charge and agency.  Updated weekly by Post Standard/syracuse.com
  • Gun Violence
    • note: without any federal guidelines or statistics some media and organizations keep a variety of statistics on gun violence. Be sure to understand what each counts and doesn’t. See more information in this Rand paper.
    • US Mass Shootings  — from Mother Jones magazine. Counts indiscriminate shootings in public places, with four or more victims; compiled from media reports. Excludes armed robbery, gang violence or domestic violence.
    • Gun Violence Archive —  from independent research group. All gun incidents, but has a sub-category of mass shootings of four or more victims. Compiled from law enforcement, media, government and commercial sources.
    • School Shooting List — archive from CNN, as of May, 2018. not updated
  • Onondaga County Sheriff inmate lookup — find if someone is being held at the Justice Center downtown
  • Onondaga County UCR/index crimes, 2015-2019 — by agency. see info above of what comprises the UCR reports.
  • Syracuse crime from CompStat — These are statistics from the federal so-called “index crimes” reported in the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) Part 1 offenses: murder and non-negligent homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny-theft, and arson. note: as of 2021, the city and county are working to move to the new federal NIBRS system which will provide statistics on more crimes.
  • Syracuse unsolved homicides

STATE

FEDERAL

Data

  • Syracuse.com Data & Statistics  — includes many lookup databases for regional statistics including housing prices, federal relief money, job losses,  election rolls, graduation rates and much more.  From Post Standard/syracuse.com

Demographics

  •  CensusReporter – an independent site for journalists to make it easier to search data. From Knight Foundation
  • Poverty data for Syracuse from Community Foundation. Updated Jan. ’21 and each summer
  • Quick Facts   — use to search for basic common data by state, county or city
  • U.S. Census  — browse by topic. Includes 2020 estimates of population by age, sex, race/origin. See also Facts Quick. See also this Census Handbook for Media
  • Vital Statistics, NY State:  birth, death, infant mortality, causes of death and morenote: latest stats are from 2017 and these tables do not include New York City
  • WISQARS, Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System — CDC’s stats on fatal and nonfatal injuries, violent death and cost of injury data. death and injury rates

Disinformation/Misinformation

  • Is This Legit  — Short videos for teens, by teens, who check out whether news or opinion is true. From Media Wise/Poynter Institute
  • Legal Fact Check — From the American Bar Association.
  • PolitiFact — Poynter Institute checks out politician’s statements and gives a rating of true, false or pants-on-fire
  • Snopes — check out rumors here

Education

  • College Scorecard — includes data, by institution, for enrollment, student aid, typical student loan payments, graduation rathes and more.
  • School district per pupil spending in NY State  and in Central New York 
    • note:  the funding for Syracuse City Schools is different and thus not in this database.
  • High school graduation rates — includes every public high school in New York. From the Post Standard/syracuse.com

Environment

Fire

Onondaga County Fire Response Reports — gives the time it took the fire department to get to the scene by month and year to date

Government 

see also Politics

Health

for Covid resources see above, alpha “C”

Non-profits and Charities

  • Charity Watch — A watchdog on charities
  • Guidestar — search IRS 990 forms on non-profits to get basic information and finances for the non-profit or charity.   requires registration
  • IRS Charity search — fin out if a group is really a registered charity
  • NYS charities database — check out charities in New York State

People Finders

Polls

 Politics

  • Campaign Finance
    • Open Secrets — non-governmental, but reputable site for contributions to federal campaigns
  • Democratic Policy Proposals: in-depth research from Journalist’s Resource
  • VoteSmart.org — speeches and position papers for federal candidates
  • VoteView – shows congressional roll call through history on an ideological map. Local Rep. John Katko’s votes are here.

 Research 

Safety

Sports

  • High School Sport Stats — includes info on NY Section II and III. Organized by season.
  • Journalist Toolbox/Sports — sports data, sports medicine, business and law, sports sociology & race, Olympics, high school sports and much more. From Society for Professional Journalists

Taxes 

Property Taxes

Tax Comparison by country

Transportation

Weather

This page is maintained by Professor Barbara Fought. Last updated 4/19/21