SOC 397 Social Research Methods: ICPSR Data


Tips for Finding Data at ICPSR

Two quick ways to search for data are

Once you have selected a topic or searched for a keyword, you can further narrow your results by using the filters to the left (subject terms, geography, time period, funding agency, etc). You can also select how your results are sorted; the default is relevance, but you can choose other means of sorting, such as "most cited" in ICPSR's bibliography). 

Screenshot of ICPSR search results page. Filter options and results sort option highlighted

The Individual Data Set Record

The individual records in ICPSR are very detailed; you can download the data, usually in multiple formats, access all associated documentation, find citations of publications that have used the data set, and more.

The DOI is the URL you should use to get back to this data set and when citing it. You can also click on "cite this study," but keep in mind you might need to adjust it somewhat to fit the citation style you are using. screenshot of individual ICPSR record

Cite Your Data Set

It is increasingly important to cite your data sources, just like you would normally cite a journal article that you used to support your research.

How and Why Should I Cite Data?

Here is an example of a data set citation:

Johnston, Lloyd D., Jerald G. Bachman, Patrick M. O'Malley, and John E. Schulenberg. Monitoring the Future: A Continuing Study of American Youth (12th-Grade Survey), 2007 [Computer File]. ICPSR22480-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2008-10-29. doi:10.3886/ICPSR22480

Example from ICPSR (