Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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). Since 1963, ICPSR has offered training in quantitative methods to facilitate effective data use. The ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research offers a comprehensive curriculum in research design, statistics, data analysis, and methodology. 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 approximately 760 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.
ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research
From the beginning, the founders of ICPSR believed a training component was a necessary part of the organization in order to teach researchers how to use the newly available data the consortium was providing.
The first Summer Program was held in 1963 and was attended by 21 faculty members and 41 graduate students from member institutions. The program offered nine courses, with the most popular class, "Proseminar in Behavior Research Methods," attracting 46 participants.
Throughout the decades, the Summer Program expanded in many ways that mirrored the growth of ICPSR as a whole — participation grew and the offerings became more diverse.
Currently, the ICPSR Summer Program offers beginning to advanced training in quantitative and analytic skills for graduate students, college and university faculty, and nonacademic researchers. The ICPSR Summer Program emphasizes the integration of methods of quantitative analysis within a broader context of substantive research.
In 2015, the ICPSR Summer Program offered 81 courses taught by 101 instructors from across North America and Europe. Participants included students, faculty, and researchers from more than 40 countries, 300 institutions, and 30 disciplines.
- National Digital Library Program (NDLP)
- National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP)