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ICPSR Finding and Using Data: Downloading Data

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

Restricted Data

ICPSR conducts a disclosure risk review of every dataset to determine whether any data items could be used to identify individual respondents. ICPSR ensures respondent confidentiality by either removing, masking, or collapsing variables within public-use versions of the datasets. The vast majority of ICPSR data holdings are public-use files with no restrictions on their access.

Researchers can gain access to most restricted data by signing a Restricted Data Use Agreement and by designing a Data Protection Plan.

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Downloading data

Downloading data

Most of the ICPSR datasets are downloadable only by current Utah State University students, staff, and faculty.  Federally funded data are freely available to the general public.

 Steps for downloading data:

  1. You must login to your ICPSR account
  2. Click your desired data format.
  3. Select the dataset(s) in the study that you want to download.
  4. Click the button to add files to your Data Cart.
  5. Click the button to review the contents of your Data Cart. (You may skip this step if you wish.)
  6. Click the button to download your Data Cart contents with your selected files.


  • Use the Browse Documentation tab to decide if the study fits your information needs.
  • By downloading data from ICPSR, you are agreeing not to share the data with persons not authorized by ICPSR to receive it and to follow the terms of use in ICPSR’s Responsible Use Statement.
  • It's a very good idea to download a study's documentation and codebook and read it before downloading the data itself. That will help you determine if a study is suitable for your purposes before you accumulate the other associated files.