I downloaded data from your site, but my statistics application issues an error message that the file cannot be found.

"I downloaded data from your site, but my statistics application issues an error message that the file cannot be found. I have replaced the 'file-specification' string for the raw ASCII data file with what appears to be a correct Drive, Folder Hierarchy, and Filename specification. What is the problem?"

Data files must be uncompressed before they can be used.

ICPSR files are zipped with WinZip. If the downloaded file is represented with a vice-grips folder icon, the computer has WinZip installed. In this case, extract the files from the file with WinZip. If the file is represented with a folder icon that has a zipper on the left-hand side of the folder, WinZip is not installed and the XP operating system will treat the file as a compressed folder. But since the files are actually compressed in a WinZip archive file, the XP operating system is not able to provide the files to other applications (as it is able to do with files located in a standard compressed folders). Files can be extracted from the WinZip archive files that appear to be compressed folders by moving the nested folders and/or files to an uncompressed folder.

If you are using a computer that does not have WinZip installed, and are having difficulty accessing the data files, check with your school's IT department or the computer lab where you are working to learn what uncompressed directory to use. Move the downloaded file to that directory, and extract the compressed files there. Once the data files are extracted, they should be accessible to the statistical application.

If you chose to save the downloaded zipped files to a removable media such as a CD, or jump drive, be aware that the compression issue may still need to be addressed.

The statistical application still does not see the data file. What else could it be?

Some statistical applications have a limit on the number of characters that can be used to specify a file location. The default folder hierarchy in which ICPSR distributes its files comprises at least three levels. If this folder hierarchy is extracted to a folder that is already nested within several other folders, the length of the resulting drive, folder hierarchy, and filename specification could exceed that which is usable by the statistics application. In cases such as this, ICPSR recommends that the lowest folder in the hierarchy be moved or copied to a location as high in the folder hierarchy as possible and that this new location be specified in the setup files.