Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

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ICPSR's headquarters are in the Perry Building on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

ICPSR, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research, was established in 1962. An integral part of the infrastructure of social science research, ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction (over 8,000 discrete studies/surveys with more than 65,000 datasets), and offers training in quantitative methods to facilitate effective data use. To ensure that data resources are available to future generations of scholars, ICPSR curates and preserves data, migrating them to new storage media and file formats as changes in technology warrant. In addition, ICPSR provides user support to assist researchers in identifying relevant data for analysis and in conducting their research projects.

ICPSR supports students, instructors, researchers, and policy makers who:

  • Conduct secondary research to support primary research findings or generate new findings
  • Preserve and disseminate primary research data
  • Study or teach statistical methods in quantitative analysis
  • Write articles, papers, or theses to fulfill undergraduate or graduate requirements
  • Develop funding proposals for grants or contracts that require a data management plan

ICPSR provides a number of tools as classroom aids for college-level instructors:

  • Bibliography of Data-related Literature — citations to data from published works; a good starting point for literature reviews and research papers
  • Social Science Variables Database — lets students learn by comparing variables across datasets
  • Survey Documentation and Analysis online analysis package — allows exploration of data directly online
  • Crosstab Assignment Builder — lets students create contingency tables from ICSPR data using an instructor-predefined subset of variables

A unit within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, ICPSR is a membership-based organization, with about 740 member colleges and universities and other research institutions around the world. A Governing Council of leading scholars and data professionals guides and oversees the activities of ICPSR.

While many of the datasets housed at ICPSR are provided to the public without cost, most require the user to be a member of an ICPSR member institution or to pay a download fee.

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