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ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research)

Downloading ICPSR Data Directly

If Stanford does not currently have data that you need, you should check the ICPSR Data Archive, which houses almost 6,000 titles. ICPSR data is restricted to the Stanford faculty, staff, and students and is for use in research and instruction. Stanford University is a member of the Consortium's ICPSR Direct Program, so ICPSR data can be downloaded directly from any computer within Stanford's central campus network or via Stanford's proxy server.

Search the ICPSR Data Archive by title, study number, investigator, or subject term. View study descriptions or data-related literature. You will need to set-up an ICPSR account using your Stanford email address in order to download any data at ICPSR.  Do not use our sunet id password for your ICPSR account.

ICPSR Codebooks

Codebooks are the "owner's manual" for a dataset, and fortunately, virtualy all ICPSR studies have electronic format codebooks (pdf, text, or Word documents) that can be downloaded directly. Stanford also has a number of ICPSR codebooks in print.  Check the library's Socrates catalog for availability . A quick way to see if the library owns a printed copy of an ICPSR codebook is to do a 'Keyword' search with 'ICPSR' and the ICPSR study number (e.g., 'ICPSR 7937'). The call number and location of any printed copies of the codebook will be listed in the 'full' record for that dataset title.

ICPSR Data Formats

In addition to the codebook and data files, some ICPSR studies will also come with SPSS, Stata, or SAS file definition (syntax) code, which can be modified and run to load the raw text (ASCII) data file into that statistical package. Some ICPSR studies come with the data already formatted for a statistical package (e.g., SPSS (sav), Stata (dta) or SAS files). These files can be directly imported into its corresponding statistical package. Finally, some older ICPSR studies come with OSIRIS data and dictionary files (an old IBM mainframe statistical package). OSIRIS files from ICPSR can be converted to other statistical packages using the utility Stat/Transfer. Contact us for software help to modify your downloaded files with Stat/Transfer or any of the statistical packages mentioned.

ICPSR Special Topic Archives

ICPSR hosts a variety of special topic archives, including: Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA), International Archive of Education Data (IAED), National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), Substance Abuse & Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA), Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), and Census 2000 at ICPSR. A link to the Special Topic Archives is on the ICPSR Web site.

Bibliography of Data Related Literature

ICPSR has built a growing database of journal articles, books, working papers, and other documents that cite the data in their archive.  Use this tool to search for literature of interest to you and then download the ICPSR data cited, or browse through a list of articles that cite an ICPSR dataset that you locate in the archive and read more about how others have analyzed that data.

If you cannot find the data that you need at ICPSR, then check out the other sources under Data Services or contact us for data assistance.