ICPSRAs I’m sure you know, Lawrence is a member of something called the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). As part of that cool and geeky group, Lawrence joins with approximately 700 colleges and universities in the acquisition, preservation, and distribution of social science data.

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Are you interested in determining the average age at which men versus women begin smoking? What if you need to know whether age at marriage differs between your region of the country and other regions, or about differences in political attitudes based on age, gender, education, race, or ethnicity? These and many other questions can be answered by studies in the ICPSR data holdings. Note that ICPSR does not provide publications, reports, or ready-made statistics. What ICPSR does supply are the numeric raw data used to create publications, reports, and figures.

ICPSR, established in 1962, provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction and offers training in quantitative methods. To ensure that data are available to future generations of scholars, ICPSR preserves data, migrating them to new storage media as changes in technology warrant. ICPSR also provides user support to assist researchers in identifying relevant data for analysis to conduct secondary research and write articles, papers, and theses.

In addition to the general archive, ICPSR hosts a number of special topic archives, including the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA), Child Care and Early Education (Research Connections), Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS), Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR), the Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD), the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN), the National Addicition & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA). Data from all of these topical archives are conveniently available at the ICPSR website.
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All Lawrence University staff, students, and faculty have access to these extensive ICPSR data holdings via any campus computer. Access is direct and quick: Connect to the ICPSR website at http://www.icpsr.umich.edu. First-time users will be asked to create an ICPSR MyData account; thereafter, you’ll just need your email address and password to download data. Need assistance in locating, accessing and analyzing ICPSR data?  See our ICPSR LibGuide or ask a reference librarian!