New User Tutorial
What You Will Get From the NACJD Archive
Most of the datasets in the NACJD archive are raw data from surveys, censuses, and administrative records. They were originally gathered in research projects and for administrative purposes. ICPSR preserves them because they have value for "secondary analysis" - that is, reexamining old data to address new questions or to employ new analytic methods.
You will not get reports, charts, publications, or other studies from NACJD. Rather, you will get raw numerical data which can be analyzed. Some datasets have been used in published studies. You can see a bibliography of these studies by clicking on the "view related literature" link on each study's home page.
Finding the Data You Need
Use the Search Box if you know exactly what you want. For example, enter a survey title or the name of a principal investigator in the search box. We also offer several browse options, including:
- Browse by geography
- Browse by investigator. Consult an alphabetical list of investigators for all ICPSR data.
- Browse by series. Scan this list of more than 250 ongoing series and data collection projects.
- Browse international data
- View all studies. Faceted searching makes it easy to
quickly narrow your results.
- View all studies for which online analysis is available. NACJD offers many studies in Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA), a Web tool for analyzing data. Analyzing data online means you don't have to download data for use with statistical software.
- View all studies that have Quick Tables
- View all studies that have learning guides
- Browse recent updates & additions. This is a list of all ICPSR studies, sorted such that new releases appear at the top of the results page.
- Fielded search
NACJD makes use of faceted searching. You may find it helpful to read over a brief post on Faceted Searching Using SOLR.
In your searching you may encounter unfamiliar acronyms and specialized terms used in the social sciences. These resources can provide clear definitions:
- Glossary of Social Science Terms
- Index of Frequently Used Acronyms (link to ICPSR)
- Social Sciences Research and Instructional Glossary
Obtaining Access to the Data
All of the documentation files associated with ICPSR datasets are available to the general public. This documentation includes the study metadata--that is, the data describing the study. However, not all of the datasets themselves are freely available.
Some datasets are protected because there is a risk that the identity of research participants could be disclosed. These datasets are released with special protections. Datasets in which the level of disclosure risk is especially high can be examined only in a special data enclave in the ICPSR office in Ann Arbor. See enclave data.
If you find a dataset with restricted access, you will see an Access Note about this on the study home page:
example of a study with a restricted access note
When you find a study that you wish to download, you will see a variety of download links on the study home page that enable you to download individual documentation files, or application-specific bundles (at either the study or dataset level). The "Quick Download" button provides multiple options on mouse over.
Before downloading the data, you may want to do two things to assure that the study meets your needs.
Review the description of the study. This may include important information about file formats and other unique characteristics of the data.
View the documentation files, including the codebook.
Using the downloaded data requires some basic knowledge of statistical analysis techniques and some familiarity with statistical analysis software packages. We provide help for specific analysis packages and data analysis issues.