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

Finding a Dataset

Finding Data

The Search function is available on the Find Data page. ICPSR's search indexes the full documentation of datasets, including descriptions of the variables. Some search tips:

  • You can search for multiple keywords:  income health china
  • Use quotes to search for an exact match:  "income distribution"
  • All studies are described using terms from the ICPSR Subject Thesaurus. These terms will appear as "Subject Terms" filters on the left side of the search results page.
  • To search for studies containing specific variables, separate the query terms with commas: 
    • read newspapers, political party, volunteer 
    • drug use, probation, education
    • ... and then sort by variable relevance on the results page.

You can also browse data by topic, series, geography, investigator, international data, and more.

Another way to search for datasets is to search by variable using the Social Science Variables Database (SSVD) on the Search/Compare Variables page. This ICPSR database enables users to examine and compare variables and questions across studies or series. Enter a search term or query to search for variables and questions. The SSVD currently has over 5 million variables, representing about 76% of ICPSR's holdings that have quantitative data described in statistical syntax.

What's in There? Searching by Variable at ICPSR will show you alternative ways to search the ICPSR catalogue, how to do variable comparisons, how to use online codebooks, and how to use a crosswalk tool for the American National Election Study and the General Social Survey. (47:04, Closed Captioned)

New and Updated Studies in ICPSR

More Datasets