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Data Sets for Quantitative Research: ICPSR

Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research

  1. How to search for an ICPSR dataset by topic.
    • Use ICPSR's Find Data search box, and choose facets in the left navigation bar to further hone the search.
    • Broaden your concept of what's available: Browse by Subject Term.
    • Finely tuned searching: use the Social Science Variables Database. It contains over 4 million variables, covering about 75% of the archive.
    • Quickly scan for relationships before using statistical software. Click Find Data and then choose "View all studies for which online analysis is available."
    • Find articles first, then see the dataset used by the articles' creator(s).  Check the ICPSR Bibliography of Data-Related Literature
  2. Tips for downloading ICPSR data.

    Students needing a dataset for a class should avoid any that are marked "restricted."  Although restricted data is available under certain conditions, the paperwork cannot be processed quickly enough to meet class deadlines.   Restricted data is fine for researchers working on dissertations, books, etc.

  3. Setting up an account and downloading

ICPSR detects the IP address of your computer to confirm that it falls within range of an affiliated institution.   If you are off-campus the first time you attempt to set up an ICPSR account for downloading, you will be out of range and it will be necessary to install a free software from DoIT called Virtual Private Networking (VPN.)   On the other hand, if you get your account initially set up using an on-campus machine, your logon info will authenticate you whether you are on campus or off.