Oct 22, 2008

How do I find data at ICPSR?

If you know what you are looking for....

If you know the name of the dataset or study you are looking for, the best strategy is to type the name or a portion of the name in the search box that appears on every page on the ICPSR Web site. If searching on a two-word concept, remember to surround it with quotes.

If you know the topic area you are interested in ....

If you know you are interested in a general topic area such as aging or crime, you have several options:

  • Review the ICPSR topical archive list, found on the right hand side of ICPSR's front page. These special archives focus on a variety of topics including aging, crime, demography, and race and ethnicity. These archives have special search facilities to help you find appropriate datasets.

  • Consult the ICPSR Browse classifications. These categories will in general yield a large result set that you can then narrow.

  • Use the ICPSR Thesaurus. These are finer-grained controlled subject terms structured in a systematic way. Note that the subject terms in all study descriptions are also clickable, expanding the potential for more data discovery.

If you know where you want data from....

If you interested in a particular geographic location, see our interactive world map. Click on a country (or a US state in another map available on the site) to find a dataset from that region. You can refine your search once you find the list of datasets for your place of interest.

If you still don't know....

Use the many browse options on the Data Search and Browse guide to help you find data.

Why should I attend the ICPSR Summer Program?

The ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research offers excellent opportunities for training in:

  • Research design
  • Data analysis
  • Statistical methods
  • Data management

Our curriculum ranges from lectures that introduce basic skills to advanced workshops covering new methodologies and cutting-edge techniques. The ICPSR Summer Program is reasonably priced, and fees are even lower if you are affiliated with an ICPSR member institution.

Course work in the Summer Program is grounded in a "hands-on" orientation and participants are encouraged to interact on a regular basis with instructors. Our faculty are not only accomplished social scientists, but are also dedicated teachers who make course material accessible and relevant to students.

The Summer Program provides a stimulating, diverse, and enjoyable environment for learning. In recent years, Program participants have come from about 24 different nations, and they have represented about 24 different academic disciplines. Along with classes and lectures, there are many social functions that provide opportunities for professional networking and making new friends. Summer Program participants not only work hard and learn a great deal-- they also have a lot of fun!

To learn more about what we offer, please consult the ICPSR Summer Program site.

Why should my institution join ICPSR?

ICPSR institutional memberships enable everyone at a member institution -- researchers, students, faculty, and staff - to access ICPSR's unique resources and services. ICPSR members receive:

  • On-demand access to over 7,000 original research studies, many with ready-to-go files for SPSS, SAS, and Stata, and with online analysis capabilities. Studies are fully processed and documented and are supplemented by ICPSR's popular bibliography that identifies journal articles and other publications, often in full text, based on the data.

  • Access to teaching tools supporting quantitative literacy in undergraduate education. ICPSR's Resources for Instructors assists teaching faculty in bringing data and analysis into the classroom.

  • Help in using data, both self-help via its Help Documentation and live help via email or telephone.

  • Discounted rates for ICPSR's renowned Summer Program in Quantitative Methods.

To learn more about joining ICPSR, please consult our Membership page.

Why should I deposit data with ICPSR?

Your data are a unique contribution to the social sciences and represent a significant investment of time and resources. ICPSR can help you protect that investment by managing and safeguarding your data at no cost to you. Specifically, ICPSR will:
  • Curate your data. Experienced data managers at ICPSR will review and enhance your study to ensure that it is optimally usable and meets community disclosure limitation standards. ICPSR staff will also create a rich study-level description so that others can discover your study easily and cite it, thus enhancing your research profile.
  • Preserve your data. With a 45-year track record in preserving social science data, ICPSR will make sure that your data are available far into the future.
  • Disseminate your data. Your data will be accessible to researchers around the world in all of the major statistical package formats. Data can also be made available through ICPSR's online analysis utility.
  • Support your data. ICPSR's User Support staff will answer user questions about the download and use of the data so that you have time to pursue new research. You may also request usage statistics for your data.
  • Offer levels of access if needed. In addition to handling public-use data, ICPSR also offers archival services for the most sensitive, confidential data, including restricted access data services and a secure data enclave.
  • Find publications based on your data. ICPSR will identify publications based on analyses of your data and link these publications to your study, creating a rich network of citations.
Depositing data with ICPSR is easy. Use the online deposit form to securely upload your data to ICPSR.