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ICPSR Finding and Using Data: Searching for Data Sets

The Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research is a depository of datasets for use in secondary data analysis

Searching for Data Sets

Finding Data


The Search function appears on the ICPSR home page and on the Data page.  You can search the name of a survey or a principal investigator.  You can also search by subject and/or keyword.  Consult the Thesaurus for social science terminology.


The search results are a list of datasets and/or documents.  Studies with downloadable data  will have links to a description and download link.  Some studies have segments, with an online analysis link,  which have been adapted for the beginning researcher and for classroom use.  The related literature link will provide a list of citations for publications based upon the dataset.

Tips for Finding Datasets

The 'Summary of Holdings' for ICPSR studies provide valuable information that will help you determine if the study is a good choice for your particular assignment.  Some things to keep in mind include: