ICPSR at VCU Libraries
What and How to Download
Downloading: The default download is All Files - README file, file manifest (lists contents), all data (all formats), syntax files (all available platforms), and documentation. To download the default package, leave that radio button checked as-is and click on Add to Data Cart and Download Cart Contents (Reviewing Cart to add and remove files is optional). The downloaded files are bundled together as one zip file. Be advised that studies with multiple files can be quite large. ICPSR does let you know the size of your download prior to downloading.
Documentation Only: There is an option for users to download only the documentation. Select the Documentation Only package, click on Add to Data Cart and Download Cart Contents. Note that you may also preview documentation online without downloading by clicking on the tab that says Browse Documentation.
File Formats: Data files are typically *.dat files - ASCII text. In order to use the data with a statistical package such as SPSS, SAS, or Stata, you will need to download the applicable syntax files for that package - *.sas (SAS), *.sps (SPSS) or *.do/*.dct (Stata). You will need to make some small changes to the syntax to get the files to read in properly. At times, data will be available as an SPSS data file *.sav, an SPSS Portable File *.por, or SAS Transport file *.xpt. SPSS Portable files and SAS Transport files are useful for users who have earlier versions of the software (*.por and *.xpt are backwards-compatible), or are running the software on a MAC or Linux/UNIX platform. Please note that for variable labels to be present in the converted SAS or SPSS data file, you will need to obtain the supplementary syntax files as well. Documentation - Codebooks, Instruments - are available as *.pdf files (most common) and as *.txt files.
Please note that not all studies will have syntax included. ICPSR is currently accepting requests to create syntax files. When requested, ICPSR will provide a rough estimate of how long the process will take. Please contact your Official Representative for more details.
Need Some Help?
Consult ICPSR's Data User Help Center.
You may use our Ask-A-Librarian service for general questions or contact your appropriate offical representative: Irene Lubker (MCV representative and health data contact) or Bettina Peacemaker (Monroe Park representative and social sciences data contact).