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Social Science Data Resources: ICPSR

Guide to finding resources for research related to the social sciences.

What is ICPSR

The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an organization of member institutions working together to acquire, preserve, provide access and promote use of social science data.  ICPSR provides Web access to documentation and data files for use with statistical software, such as R, SAS, SPSS, and Stata.

The ICPSR data holdings contain more than 500,000 files that cover a wide range of social science areas such as population, economics, education, health, social and political behavior, social and political attitudes, terrorism, history, crime, aging, and substance abuse. 

Creating an account:

Where do I start? 

Access to ICPSR is limited to current Yale students, faculty and staff.  For access to datasets you will need to create an ICPSR account. Click this link to the ICPSR home page and click the "Log in" button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.  Click on the "New User" link and enter your name and Yale email address.

Where to get help?

FAQs and Videos

Contact your local ICPSR representative

Searching for data sets:

You can browse or search by topic, author name, geography, variable name or keyword:

Downloading data:

Most of the ICPSR datasets are downloadable only by current Yale students and faculty.  Federally funded data are freely available to the general public.

Steps for downloading data:

  1. You must login to your ICPSR account
  2. Click your desired data format.
  3. Select the dataset(s) in the study that you want to download.
  4. Read the Terms of Use prior to hitting "Agree" button
  5. The download, into .zip file, should begin immediately.

Online analysis and searching related literature

Online Analysis:

Online data analysis enables users to explore datasets using certain statistical procedures without downloading data and setup files, and without being familiar with any statistical packages. ICPSR currently offers online analysis components for selected data collections using Survey Documentation Analysis (SDA).

You may access SDA through selected individual data collections. Click on the Online Analysis link that appears on the Search Results page, the Download page, or the Description page. If you do not see an Online Analysis link on these pages, the study is not available for online analysis.

You may also browse a list of SDA data collections available for online analysis. Only selected ICPSR data collections are available for online analysis.

Related Literature:

You can locate publications that use ICPSR by selected the "data-related publications" tab on a data set study page or you can search for publications using keywords in the ICPSR Bibliography of Data-Related Literature.