APSU is an institutional member of
the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social
Research (ICPSR), located at the University of Michigan.
ICPSR is the world's largest archive of computer readable
social science data, containing more than 500,000 files of research in
the social sciences. Its holdings include data sets
relevant to the study of political science, sociology, demography,
history, economics, international relations, gerontology, public health,
criminal justice, education and many other fields.
Students, faculty and
staff at APSU are welcome to use ICPSR data sets for their
research projects. You must agree to the terms outlined in
ICPSR's Responsible Use Statement before downloading any data
sets. Some data sets are restricted from use due to reasons of
confidentiality. Please consult
ICPSR's information on Restricted Data if you wish to access
a restricted data set.
Also in included in the
institutional subscription for APSU is The ICPSR
Bibliography of Data-Related Literature.
This is a continuously updated database of
thousands of citations of works using data held in the ICPSR
archive. The works include journal articles, books, book
chapters, government and agency reports, working papers,
dissertations, conference papers, meeting presentations,
unpublished manuscripts, magazine and newspaper articles, and
How do I access and download ICPSR data sets?
The first step in accessing ICPSR data
sets is to locate an appropriate study. You can do this by first
searching the full data holdings or browsing by subject.
ICPSR Thesaurus can help you find the appropriate search
The next step is to look at the abstract of the study.
Information contained in the summary, time period, data source,
sampling, and universe fields will help you to determine whether
the study will meet your research objectives. The Data
Collection Notes field contains further information about the
data set. Restrictions on use of the data are noted in the
If you choose to download the data set, you will first be
prompted with information concerning authorization. Log-in after
creating your free account and then click on the "I Agree"
Your next step is to download the appropriate elements of the
data set. The basic elements of a data set are documentation and
data files. Documentation such as Codebooks provide information
on the structure, contents, and layout of a data file.
Documentation files are automatically included with the download
of each data set and they may be in PDF or other formats.
ICPSR primarily distributes data files in eight data
three plain text formats (column-delimited ASCII,
comma-delimited ASCII, and tab-delimited ASCII),
two SAS formats (SAS XPORT and CPORT files),
two SPSS formats (SPSS SAV and portable files),
and the single Stata data format.
Virtually every data file is available in a
plain text format.
Once you have downloaded the appropriate files of the data set,
you can begin using these with your statistical software
package. Most of the files in Tab-delimited ASCII were created
by ICPSR for use with spreadsheets, such as Microsoft Excel,
into which they can be easily imported.
ICPSR offers a selection
of data collections for online data analysis using the Survey
Documentation and Analysis (SDA) system developed and maintained
by the Computer-Assisted Survey Methods Program at the
University of California, Berkeley.
How do I unzip compressed files after download?
Please see the
ICPSR guidelines for decompression in Windows, Mac,
For additional assistance
FAQs or visit the
ICPSR Data User Help Center, which
contains audio/visual tutorials and webinars. Please refer
online guide for help with citing data sets you dowload.
MyClass enables instructors to mass register students for
temporary accounts such that they can download and manipulate
data without going through the process of establishing permanent
MyData accounts. The benefit is that MyClass enables you to
focus very little classroom time on the registration process and
proceed directly to working with data. After a period of time
that you specify, the temporary accounts will cease to exist.
Online Learning Center
Online Learning Center offers Data-Driven Learning Guides
that supplement undergraduate social science coursework with
learning exercises using actual ICPSR data. They cover
42 subject areas in political science, sociology, and
social psychology. They can be completed by the student or used
for classroom demonstrations.
provides access to resources to help faculty incorporate
quantitative literacy into social science classes.
You may access
ICPSR from anywhere with a
valid APSU ID.