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This guide provides information about ICPSR, the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research.

Depositing Data

ICPSR welcomes and encourages deposits of digital data. Depositing data into ICPSR is free. Deposits are made using a secure data deposit form to describe the data collection and upload content. You do have to have an active MyData account with ICPSR in order to deposit data (please see Creating an ICPSR Account for more information).

Why deposit data with ICPSR? ICPSR offers:

Free Data Deposits. There is no cost to deposit data into ICPSR.

Data Curation. ICPSR enhances and adds value to data by making them easier to use. ICPSR staff also describe data full for discovery and also protect respondent privacy.

Long-Term Preservation.  ICPSR ensures long-term data availability.

Worldwide Access to Datasets.  ICSPR offers data in the major statistical package formats and also offers online analysis for many datasets. Usage statistics for your deposited datasets are available on request.

User Support.  ICPSR staff are available to answer questions about downloading and using data.

Levels of Access.  ICPSR offers restricted data services and secure data enclaves.

Aggregation of Publications.  ICPSR will create a list of of data-related publications based on analyses of your data. This database is harvested by social science indexes, such as Web of Science, which also provides credit to the original investigator. An example of a list of data-related publications may be found on the Data-Related Publications tab for the Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project study.

Data used for secondary analysis is published more widely than data not shared. Sharing data extends the research productivity of the primary investigator. Archiving data also helps researchers meet grant and journal requirements to deposit their datasets.

Deposits should include all data and documentation necessary to independently read and interpret the data collection. ICSPR's Guide to Social Science Data Preparing and Archiving contains a discussion of best practices for preparing data for deposit and sharing.

1. Data File. ICPSR encourages depositors to submit data files as SAS, SPSS, or Stata files. ASCII files are also acceptable if they are accompanied with setup files. Datasets in other formats are accepted as well.

Each variable in the data collection should have a set of exhaustive, mutually-exclusive codes. Variable labels and value labels should clearly describe the information or question recorded in that variable. Missing variables should also be defined.

ICPSR will accept data with identifying information under conditions consistent with the consent of the study participants and the approval of West Texas A&M University's Institutional Review Board (IRB).

2. Documentation. Documentation files are vital to interpreting a data collection and should thoroughly explain the data collection. Examples of documentation include codebooks, data collection instruments, summary statistics, project summaries and bibliographies of publications relating to the data. Documentation may be submitted as Microsoft Word, ASCII, and DDI XML files, among other formats. Documentation with the question text integrated with the variable information is preferred.

3. Description. Every new or revised ICPSR study includes a study description, which provides summary information about the data collection. Study descriptions are invaluable resources to data users, and include both general information, such as the study title and summary, as well as more detailed information about the study design and methodology. Much of the information that ICSPR data archivists use to create the study description comes from the ICPSR data deposit form. ICPSR provides a list of deposit form fields to help prepare and compile study information before depositing your data

Guide for Sharing Qualitative Data at ICPSR

Did you know that you can share qualitative data at ICPSR? The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has created a Guide for Sharing Qualitative Data at ICSPR for investigators planning to share qualitative data at ICPSR. This guide provides an overview of elements and considerations for archiving qualitative data, identifies steps for investigators to follow during the research life cycle to ensure that others can share and reuse qualitative data, and provides information about exemplars of qualitative data.