Search Tips

Select a link below to reveal search tips relevant to your search.

  • I'm looking for datasets related to a specific topic.

    • Our search indexes the full documentation for datasets, including descriptions of the variables.
    • You can search for multiple keywords:
      income health china
    • Use quotes to look for a phrase. (I.e., words in that precise order)
      "income distribution"
    • All studies are described using terms from the ICPSR Subject Thesaurus; these terms will appear as "Subject" filters on the left side of the results page.
  • I'm looking for datasets that contain specific variables.

    Our search indexes the full documentation for datasets, including descriptions, labels, and survey questions for more than 4 million variables.

    • Select the "Sort by Variable Relevance" to display matching variables.
    • You can search for studies that have combinations of variables. Separate variables/concepts by commas (","):
      read newspapers, political party, volunteer access to water drug use, probation, education diet, body mass, difficulty walking
  • I'm looking for datasets that answer a particular research question.

    • Our search indexes the full documentation for datasets, including descriptions of the variables, and the search engine recognizes natural language.
    • Asking a question can sometimes return what you are looking for:
      Do children of Asian immigrants speak English in the home more often than children of Latino immigrants? Does health insurance change the use of medical services?
    • You can also search for multiple keywords:
      income health china
    • Use quotes to look for a phrase. (I.e., words in that precise order)
      "income distribution"
  • I'm looking for a specific dataset; I know the title and/or principal investigator.

    • Enter a title or name in the search box. Using quotes searches for an exact match.
      "World Values Survey" "Jon D. Miller" Afrobarometer

More Search Options

Restricted Data

ICPSR ensures respondent confidentiality within public-use versions of the datasets. The vast majority of ICPSR data holdings are public-use files with no access restrictions. Sometimes the protective measures taken to reduce disclosure risk would significantly degrade the research potential of the data. In these cases, ICPSR provides access to restricted use versions that retain confidential data by imposing stringent requirements for accessing them. (more)

Found a problem? Use our Report Problem form to let us know.