February 4, 2014
The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research is a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences. It includes specialized collections of data in education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, terrorism and other fields.
VCU has an institutional membership to ICPSR which allows users to download most of the data sets. After setting up a personal MyData account on campus, users will be able to download data with just an email address and password.
Datasets archived at ICPSR are formatted for use with statistical software such as SPSS, SAS and Stata. Some datasets can be analyzed online through the Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) system.
Researchers and students use ICPSR to write articles, papers or theses using real research data and to conduct secondary research to support findings or current research, or to generate new findings. ICPSR data are also often used as introductory support material in grant proposals.
Data producers take advantage of ICPSR's services to preserve and disseminate their primary research data and often to fulfill funder requirements for data management plans.
Instructors use ICPSR's educational resources to introduce students to the principles and practices of data analysis in order to support quantitative literacy efforts.
Find out more in our ICPSR Research Guide.
By Margaret Henderson, director of research data management