Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

NCSU is a member of ICPSR, entitling students, faculty and staff to access and use its resources. Users agree not to distribute data to non-members; to use the data ethically; to cite their source data appropriately; and to provide ICPSR with a copy of any new research that is based on data already in the archive.

What is ICPSR? | Purpose | Privacy | ICPSR Account | How to Acquire Data for Research |
Other ICPSR Resources | Additional NCSU Resources for Using Numeric Data

What is ICPSR?

A unit within the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, ICPSR data holdings contain some 6,000 studies and 450,000 files that cover a wide range of social science areas such as:

  • population
  • economics
  • education
  • health
  • social and political behavior
  • social and political attitudes
  • history
  • crime
  • aging, and
  • substance abuse.

To learn more about the organization, please visit ICPSR's website.


ICPSR's main function is the collection, preservation and dissemination of digital social science data. It:

  • Provides data such as public opinion polls, survey of mass and elite attitudes, election returns, legislative records, census records, international financial statistics, income dynamics and social welfare program participation, among others.
  • Contains important data sets such as the American National Election Study, the Quality of Employment Survey, the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, and Plea Bargaining in the United States.
  • Includes numerous special topic archives.

A Note about Privacy

Notice:  Any personal information you provide to ICPSR is kept by them indefinitely and may be subject to disclosure pursuant to subpoena or other court order.  If you do not wish to provide personal information, you may log in anonymously.

ICPSR Account

In order to access ICPSR data, you must Create a New Account with ICPSR.

How to Acquire Data for Research

When you go to download a study or its documentation, you will be prompted to login with your ICPSR account (see section above). ICPSR data may be downloaded directly from the ICPSR web site, or in some cases Web-based extraction and analysis tools are also available.

Go to the ICPSR web page at Use the search box in the bottom center to search for data sets by keyword or, if known, study number.

    *Please note: Hardcopy codebooks can still be found in the libraries' collections and other places around campus. However, many studies in the ICPSR archives are on-going and the old codebooks will not reflect the most current information. ICPSR strongly recommends referring to the online documentation files for the most accurate information.

    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.

    Other ICPSR Resources

    Additional NCSU Resources for Using Numeric Data