ICPSR’s beginnings: Punch cards of data! In the “old days,” data tapes were copied and “mailed” to the member institution.
In April 2010, over 556,300 files available for download. As a sense of volume of downloads, total datasets downloaded in FY 2009 = 592,187 files. (Members-only downloads make up 306,236 of those=52%.) Members downloaded 446,973 datasets overall (75% of downloads were by members)
ICPSR conducts primary research about data issues producing data about data! (disclosure risk/confidentiality of research subjects) ICPSR also plays a significant role in “enhancing” several data collections (harmonizing datasets; making longitudinal analysis possible)
FIND & ANALYZE DATA: this is the page where you can find several tools to help you find/browse data (you can also use the search box in the upper right corner). You’ll also find the link to our thematic collections (also known as our special topic archives or projects), OR, click on ‘view all’ in the Featured Site area on the right side of the ICPSR home page. ABOUT ICPSR: this page contains all the information about the consortium (history, mission, staff overview, careers, and contact information). You’ll find our subscribed Email Lists here – important if you are interested in our webinars, summer program, or other news about the consortium. Need printed promotional materials on ICPSR or templates for workshops? – see the Publications & Promotional Materials link. DEPOSIT DATA & FINDINGS: this page is for those interested in depositing data at ICPSR or preparing data in good form for long term preservation. Also, links to discussion of protection of respondent confidentiality are found here. DIGITAL CURATION: contains information on acquiring, processing, & preserving data and protecting respondent confidentiality. MEMBERSHIP: contains information on how to join and our list of members. Also, a link to the Official Representatives web site. PARTNERS & PROJECTS: explore our collections and research projects. HELP: information on how to contact us, someone at your institution to contact for help, and several self-help tutorials, & links to social networks
We keep talking about “the download.” What’s in a download anyway? First: Many PDFs A copy of the actual questionnaire – it’s not pretty! A copy of the codebook – much more attractive & it contains frequencies! Description & Citation: essentially, the data about the data (metadata) as well as the data citation you are to use when citing the dataset as a source. Second: The actual data file(s) System files for SAS, SPSS, & Stata ASCII files – straight-up data file and/or Setups files for SAS, SPSS, Stata
The great thing about our data archive is that there is a lot of data. The biggest challenge for data users is: there is a LOT of data (to weed through & find what you need).
Some tips on what to enter in the Search Box and/or how to use the browse features based on your level of knowledge about what data you want to analyze. Our search technology now offers faceted search – search categories or filters on the right side of your screen to help you narrow your search. When you know what you want, enter terms directly in the search box. When you sort of know, explore ICPSR’s browsing tools – themes, data types, variables, subjects, etc. No idea what you want? Explore the bibliography. Do some reading and then “back into” a dataset.
When you sort of know what you want – browse the archives/thematic collections and search within them. Note: When you search within an archive, the search limits you to only data within that archive. When you search on the main site of ICPSR, the search returns results from the members-only collection and all archives/collections that ICPSR hosts. Searching from the ICPSR site returns much broader results – this can be a good or bad thing!
For institutions that subscribe to OCLC Wildcat – full text is available without leaving the ICPSR Website. Note: July 2009 – Jan 2010: over 275,000 biblio searches conducted! Excellent way to search for students just starting out and/or when you don’t know what you are looking for! As the saying goes, to get familiar with the topic, “Read, read, and read some more!”
Let’s put your learning to work now! Hint: Clicking on the dataset of interest will take you to study home page for that dataset. Answers to all these questions can be found on the study home page!
Click on “view details” or “View study description” for the full description & citation “ Browse documentation files” contains pdf copies of the codebook and questionnaire (if available) “ List all variables in this study” lists and defines the variables “ View related literature” is the bibliography of articles/reports based on this dataset “ Download” enables you to download the study files – it’s recommended that you select the files you need; however, you and download all files by using the link or the “Quick Download” button – the size of the uncompressed files is noted. “ Analyze online” appears if the study has online analysis (SDA) capability
As you seen, ICPSR doesn’t just deliver data. We surround that data with tools and services that support its use and interpretation.
You can browse just the datasets with online capabilities if you are only interested in analyzing online.
Gender variable by ever smoked marijana variable
Formerly the MDRC, the Resource Center for Minority Data, available to members of ICPSR, identifies datasets with sufficient sample and content for analysis of racial and ethnic minority populations in the US. Special tools have been developed to assist data users reviewing these data.
Stands for Data-Driven Learning Guide
Exploring Data Through Research Literature Designed to teach quantitative research methods to undergraduates in a different way. Integrates ICPSR bibliography of data related literature into teaching students how make their way from ideas to empirical work to literature and back. Suitable for both research methods and other substantive courses requiring empirical research http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/EDRL/index.jsp Investigating Community and Social Capital Uses 3 data sets including the General Social Survey, DDB Needham Life Style Surveys, and State-level data to reproduce findings from Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone Teaches how to browse codebooks, devise and execute crosstabulations, and use summary statistics Helps teach replication of scientific evidence http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ICSC/index.html SETUPS Uses the 2008 National Election Study to understand voting behavior (2004 also available) Provides substantive background, terms and descriptions, and embedded exercises to allow users to get through simple exploratory analyses of political behavior. Builds crosstabular exercises based on various questions about the 2008 Presidential elections. www.icpsr.umich.edu/SETUPS2008
The Quantitative Social Science Digital Library (QSSDL) is a repository of educational materials designed to improve quantitative literacy skills in social science courses. Built especially for faculty teaching post-secondary courses in such areas as demography, economics, geography, political science, social psychology, and sociology, the materials include stand-alone learning activities, tools, and pedagogy services. The repository or portal will be found at TeachingWithData.org
An ICPSR Workshop A Hands-on Guide to Using ICPSR Resources