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Data Sets for Quantitative Research: Roper Center

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research

The Roper iPOLL database provides access to nearly half a million public opinion survey questions on a wide range of topics from 1935 to present. 

Before launching into a search in the Roper Center data archive, first get clear about the variables you’d ideally want in a dataset. It might be helpful to make a list. For example, if you are studying confidence in news media sources and you want to analyze results by geographic area, level of education, income, and voter participation, then you will need to find a single dataset that includes questions addressing all of these elements:

  • confidence in television network news
  • confidence in the local newspaper
  • confidence in popular news magazines
  • confidence in alternative press sources
  • respondent’s residence
  • respondent’s educational attainment
  • respondent’s household income
  • respondent’s voter participation in the most recent election

It is important to consider the characteristics of the sample used in a study, particularly if you plan to conduct your analysis at small geographic levels. Roper’s catalog provides characteristics of the samples used in each survey.

Searching by variable

After you have created your list of variables, you can begin to search for surveys. The iPOLL database which features keyword searching on questions within surveys. It displays full text of survey questions and the statistical breakdown of multiple-choice format responses.  There are many Roper datasets which have not been added to iPOLL, so it's good to check both.

How to get Roper data.

Watch for these symbols: 

flyingX

Data is available for download
LetterI Shows how respondents answered the single question
Star

Variables can be analyzed online in the browser

chart Data is not available for immediate download, but can be specially requested.  Contact the Data Services Librarian (Marie Concannon),