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ICPSR: Finding Data

How to search for and use data found in ICPSR, a data archive for social and political science research.

Search Tips

  • Combination searching (using "and" to combine two or more words together to narrow your search) is automatic.
  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (ex: "white collar")
  • Use the minus sign to eliminate terms from your search (ex: "white collar crime" -fraud)
  • Stemming (using asterisk* to search for different endings of the same word) is automatic

Variables Database

You can search and compare variables and questions across various studies. The Social Sciences Variables Database (SSVD) allows the user to search through approximately 76% of the studies included in ICPSR. You can search by keyword. 

You can also browse through the following methods

Search Options

You can find the majority of search options under the tab. You can search by keyword, subject, investigator, or study number/name. If you don't know what you're searching for exactly, you can always browse under the following options:

You can also browse all studies, studies that allow for online analysis (rather than downloading the study to SAS, SPSS, or other statistical software), studies that allow other researchers to "replicate" the study for their own research outcomes (including publications) and those studies that have learning guides for instruction attached.

Finally, you can browse by thematic collections included in ICPSR. These include The Health and Medican Care Archive, CrimeStat, and NCAA Student-Athlete Experiences Data Archive among others.

Restricted Data

ICPSR ensures respondent confidentiality within public-use versions of the datasets. The vast majority of ICPSR data holdings are public-use files with no access restrictions. Sometimes the protective measures taken to reduce disclosure risk would significantly degrade the research potential of the data. In these cases, ICPSR provides access to restricted use versions that retain confidential data by imposing stringent requirements for accessing them. (more)

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