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ICPSR Database Guide

A guide to getting started with the ICPSR database


What is ICPSR?


ICPSR is the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research and is the world's largest social science data source. It maintains a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences and is an international consortium of over 700 academic institutions and research organizations.

While the ICPSR holdings include several time series and other types of aggregate data, the holdings consist mainly of raw data derived from surveys, censuses, and administrative records. These data were originally collected for specific research or administrative purposes, but much of it has research potential that outlives the original purposes for which they were collected. ICPSR preserves these valuable data resources and makes them publicly available for secondary analysis.

Setting Up an Account in ICPSR

Setting Up Your ICPSR Account

Only WKU-affiliated students, staff, and faculty are authorized to access ICPSR under the WKU membership. To set up access you will need to create a personal account: 

  1. To create your free account you need to use on-campus computer (in a WKU computer lab, for instance, or an on-campus WKU office computer connected to the network).

  2. From the on-campus computer go to the ICPSR home page and click  Login / Create  Account in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

  3. On this page look for the New Account  instructions on the lower right.

  4.  Since you are registering via the WKU institutional membership you will have access to almost all of the data on ICPSR.  Your off-campus login status will last six months, then you will need to return to a campus computer to renew.

Tips on finding searching and accessing datasets are available through the tab at the top of the page. If you need further assistance contact Sean Kinder of WKU Libraries or Douglas Smith of the Sociology Department.

Subject Guide

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Sean Kinder
806 Cravens Library

Western Kentucky University

1906 College Heights Blvd. #11067

Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101-1067

Phone:(270) 745-6339

FAX: (270) 745-2275