ICPSR at VCU Libraries
Searching Tips for the ICPSR Archive
1. The ICPSR search box can be found on the main ICPSR page. To search for multiple terms enter each term with a space in between. The current search interface does not allow for boolean operators, wildcards (partial word matches are returned automatically), parentheses, or quotation marks.
Example: To look for data on hate crime in the United States in the year 2004, enter the following into the search box: hate crime united states 2004. This search yielded three results - the first being the best match Uniform Crime Reporting Program Data [United States]: Hate Crime Data, 2004.
2. If you wish to use the Advanced Search, you may do so, but leave the default "any field" selected. Currently, not all subject terms, time periods, geographic coverage areas, etc. have been indexed yet (this is in process). Once the indexing process has been finished, a new search interface will be launched. Once this has occurred, tips for using the new inferface will be added to this page.
3. The ICPSR Thesauri - Subject, Geographic Names, and Personal Names - can be found by mousing over the Data heading in the blue menu bar, and by clicking on "Browse." You can find the link for the Thesaurus second from the bottom under the Browse Heading. There are other options under "Browse" that may assist in your searching. You can browse by subject area, the ICPSR Archives on special topics, by data series, or by availability for online analysis.
4. In each of the Thesauri, terms are organized alphabetically, and searching requires you to select the letter that corresponds to the first letter in the term you want to find. You are able to browse broader, narrower, and related terms when they are available. You are also able to launch a search from inside the thesaurus. Please note that you cannot combine terms for searching, and that not all terms have been assigned to a particular study.
Using the VCU Libraries Catalog to Find ICPSR Data
All of the ICPSR Archive records (over 6000) have been added to the VCU Libraries Catalog. We have done this to help users find relevant data with literature in our collection, and to provide a familiar search medium for this resource.
1. It is best to use the Advanced Search Feature if you are looking specifically for ICPSR data. In the Advanced Search Interface, you may conduct a keyword search, but be sure to select the format as ICPSR data.
2. You may also search using ICPSR subject terms (found using the thesauri on the ICPSR site). With our catalog, you can search for multiple subject terms by selecting Words in ICPSR Subject as the Field to Search.
Like any electronic item in our catalog, you will click on the link following the Internet Access heading in the catalog record.
Need Some Help?
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).