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With over 700 member institutions and over a half million files of social science research, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is the world's largest social science data archive. In addition to its own collection, the ICPSR also provides access to a large number of data sets from various partner institutions.
Through the CSU's membership in the ICPSR, students, faculty, and staff can download data from on campus. Some campuses also allow off-campus access through a proxy server.
ICPSR data are made available through a license to the CSU, and are not to be provided to non-CSU personnel.
Downloading Data from ICPSR
Note: Initial access to ICPSR data must be from an on-campus computer or, if your campus provides it, from off campus through a proxy server. Check with your SSRIC representative to see if service via a proxy server is available on your campus. You can access data from home, but you first have to login to the ICPSR website from on campus. Once you do so, your account is validated for off campus downloads for the next six months. Every time you log in to the ICPSR website from on campus, that is extended another six months. In the event that you simply cannot get on campus (for example, you're on sabbatical), simply contact email@example.com.We'll check with your institution's Official Representative and then manually validate your account. If you are having problems logging on, see this page.
Go to the ICPSR home page.
Syntax (setup) files.
In some cases, you can download a file that can be opened directly in SAS or SPSS. In other cases, you will be provided with a fixed-format ASCII file and a SAS or SPSS command file. The instructions that follow apply to SPSS command (or “syntax” files). Once you have downloaded your files and, if necessary, unzipped them:
For more information, go to Reading Raw Data Into SPSS (Stanford, PDF)
Data without syntax (setup) files
ICPSR is experimenting with creating setup files on request for datasets that come with neither system for syntax files. The following information was provided on October 11, 2006 by ICPSR Director of User Support, Mary Morris:
Last Updated February 13, 2017