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IRE to keep Data Library OPEN during Government Shutdown

The government has shut down; national parks and museums are closed. Some million federal workers stayed home. Even some government data portals, such as and, have been shuttered.

But don't fret.

The NICAR database library provides access to dozens of government databases at a time when federal agencies across the world wide web are telling you to talk to the hand: "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available," they said. "We sincerely regret this inconvenience."

In partnership with the Reynolds Journalism Institute, IRE offers free Census data to browse or download at You can also visit the Census Reporter website for more Census-related information.

NICAR maintains an array of federal datasets to keep you warm during the shutdown. Check out these favorites:

  • OSHA Workplace Safety data -- how much does OSHA get done even when it is at full staff? Look at inspection and accident records by industry, location, or business. 
  • National Bridge Inventory -- this data has a wealth of information on bridges in the United States, including status (is it structurally deficient?) and a sufficiency rating.
  • IRS Exempt Organizations -- peruse a listing of all organizations granted tax exemption by the IRS.
  • Medical Device Reports -- sift through records that include information about problems that reportedly occurred with medical devices, including injuries, deaths and/or product malfunctions.
  • Look through the rest of the 40+ databases offered at the NICAR Database Library.

The Donald W. Reynolds Center for Business Journalism also compiled a list of alternative data sources (included NICAR data), available here. Information portals still available include EDGAR, PACER and FRED.

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