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    ICPSR - InterUniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research
This resource is restricted to Virginia Tech users only Contents of this resource available through Summon

ICPSR: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

Established in 1962 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is a membership-based organization providing access to the world's largest archive of computer-based research and instructional data for the social sciences. ICPSR further serves social scientists around the world by offering training facilities in basic and advanced techniques of quantitative social analysis and other resources that facilitate secondary analysis. ICPSR includes among its members over 500 colleges and universities from around the world. Member institutions pay annual dues that entitle faculty, staff, and students to acquire the full range of service.

The data archive includes a broad range of disciplines, including political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, education, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, and law. See the Data Use Tutorial for help in getting started.

The data archive is searchable as well as browseable by subject. Once you locate a study of interest, click on the description link to see details, including: study number, principal investigator, summary, subjects, geographic coverage, time period, date(s) of collection, unit of observation, universe, data type, methodology, extent of collection , and restrictions (if any).

Click on the Download tab to save the files of this study. You see this message:
Authorized Download - Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
"As a student, faculty or staff member at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, you are authorized to access the data resources of ICPSR. The study you have requested is the property of ICPSR's member institutions. By downloading the data, you signify that you agree not to share the data with anyone other than faculty members, students, or staff of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. You further agree to the terms of use specified in ICPSR's Responsible Use Statement."

You must have a MyData account in order to proceed further. New users will be asked to enter name, email adress, affiliation, department/unit, and downloads preference ( SAS, SPSS, Stata) and to choose a password. Returning users will authenticate usng their previously created MyData email address and password.

Now you are ready to download.
Step 1. Select available data formats (documentation files are automatically included)
Step 2. Select datasets
Step 3. use button
Step 4. use button
Step 5. use button

Your files will be saved as a zipped file and will have to be unzipped before you can access them.

The local Virginia Tech Official Representative is Dave Beagle (located in room 3045 Newman Library; 540-231-9231).

Portions of the ICPSR collection are freely available to all users, including persons unaffiliated with a member institution. Most of the studies in the ICPSR archive are restricted, however, to faculty, staff, and students at member institutions.

Bibliography of Data-Related Literature

A searchable database that contains over 47,000 citations of known published and unpublished works resulting from analyses of data held in the ICPSR archive The purpose of this project is to facilitate the use of the ICPSR holdings by providing a means to investigate previous research based on ICPSR data. Instructors often direct students to begin data-related research projects by reading some of the major works based on the data. Advanced researchers also find reading the existing literature to be an effective way to begin using a dataset.

Social Science Variables Database

The Social Science Variables Database (SSVD) enables ICPSR users to search for variables across datasets, compare results, and download data if desired.

Search results may be viewed individually, or in the context of the study and/or series to which they belong.

The SSVD currently includes variable-level documentation for approximately 1300 studies, which represent about 20 percent of ICPSR's holdings excluding US Census data. This amounts to roughly 1.2 million variables.


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September 13, 2010


restricted resource Resource is restricted to current Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff. Use Off Campus Sign In if not on the campus network.
licensed for Virginia Tech alumni access Resource is licensed for Virginia Tech alumni access. Use Alumni Library Portal Sign In to access.
freely accessible database Freely accessible database, available to anyone without restriction
mobile interface Mobile interface available, see description for link.
Screencast tutorial available Screencast tutorial available, icon linked to list.
Contents in summon Contents of this database are in Summon.
get VText Resource provides Get VText links to access full text.
gold open access - publishing Resource provides open access publishing opportunities and open access publications.
get VText Resource provides self archiving opportunities and open access documents.


NOTE: Most items obtained from this page are subscribed to by the library and accessible only to Virginia Tech students, faculty, and staff.
WARNING: The abuse of Virginia Tech licensed online resources by such means as systematic downloading violates the university's acceptable use policy, jeopardizes Tech's future access to resources, and is prohibited.

Search ICPSR data

ICPSR offers more than 500,000 digital files containing social science research data. Disciplines represented include political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, early education, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more.


Search ICPSR bibliography of data-related literature

The Bibliography of Data-Related Literature is a continuously-updated database of thousands of citations of works using data held in the ICPSR archive. The works include journal articles, books, book chapters, government and agency reports, working papers, dissertations, conference papers, meeting presentations, unpublished manuscripts, magazine and newspaper articles, and audiovisual materials.