Mar 13, 2012

Some computers on my campus can't download member data. Why is that?

In all likelihood, the IP range for your campus has changed. Please provide ICPSR with information so that we can associate all your campus computers with your institution, and thus give access to users on those computers.

Just email updated IP information to web-support@icpsr.umich.edu.

If you're unfamiliar with the term "IP range/address", here's a brief explanation. According to Stephanie Crawford of "How Stuff Works":

"Every machine on a network has a unique identifier. Just as you would address a letter to send in the mail, computers use the unique identifier to send data to specific computers on a network. Most networks today, including all computers on the Internet, use the TCP/IP protocol as the standard for how to communicate on the network. In the TCP/IP protocol, the unique identifier for a computer is called its IP address."

An individual IP address looks something like this:

141.211.81.142

The last digits signify the individual computer, while the first 2-3 parts of the number signify the institution. Many institutions have multiple/complex IP ranges. When in doubt, contact your IT/network staff on campus and just forward the IP range on to ICPSR's Web Support staff.