Membership in ICPSR

Approximately 740 universities, government agencies, and other institutions are members of ICPSR. Faculty, staff, and students of member institutions have full direct access to the data archive and to all of ICPSR's services. They also receive discounted tuition rates for courses in ICPSR's Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.

While most memberships involve individual institutions, groups of institutions can also join collectively as a federation and receive discounted membership fees.

Detailed information about joining ICPSR—including application forms—is available on the How to Become a Member or Subscribe to ICPSR page.

More information about ICPSR is available, including publications and promotional materials and a listing of staff and researchers.

For those exploring ICPSR membership, ICPSR can provide customized webinars designed to highlight the most relevant ICPSR resources and services.

What We Do

ICPSR seeks research data and pertinent documents from researchers, including PIs, research agencies, and government entities. We process, preserve, and disseminate the data and documents. We also provide education, training, and instructional resources to help users understand and analyze research data.

Why People Use ICPSR

Researchers and students use ICPSR to write articles, papers or theses using real research data, and to conduct secondary research to support findings or current research, or to generate new findings. ICPSR data are also often used as introductory support material in grant proposals.

Data producers take advantage of ICPSR's services to preserve and disseminate their primary research data, and often to fulfill funder requirements for data management plans.

Instructors use ICPSR's educational resources to introduce students to the principles and practices of data analysis in order to support quantitative literacy efforts.

Benefits of Membership

Quotes from Members

"ICPSR does a fabulous job connecting us with the rich data resources that are available to our researchers."

"In the nine years since we became a member, it has been a constant progression of improvements in data content, data quality, methods of discovery, and delivery of data, and the list goes on."

Everyone affiliated with a member institution receives full access to the data archive of more than 8,000 research studies. In addition, ICPSR data users get:

  • Convenience in the form of powerful search tools, useful metadata, easy access, and curation services all in one place.

  • Data enhancements, including SAS, SPSS, Stata, and R files to facilitate analysis.

  • Online analysis tools for hundreds of studies.

  • Technical help in using data.

  • Teaching tools featuring ICPSR's Resources for Instructors (formerly Online Learning Center), which provide dozens of online Data-Driven Learning Guides to enhance the teaching of core concepts in the social sciences.

For Researchers

Researchers using ICPSR data and services will appreciate the benefits of a professionally managed data archive:

  • Data enhancement. Data managers review and enhance data and technical documentation to make them optimally usable and compliant with disclosure limitation standards.

  • Long-term preservation. ICPSR provides for the long-term physical security of data. We work to meet the challenge of changing technologies to ensure the long-term usability of data.

  • Protection of confidentiality. ICPSR removes identifiers and observes standards of practice that protect the confidentiality of research participants. ICPSR safeguards sensitive data through varying levels of access, including restricted-use data and a secure data enclave.

  • Usage information. ICPSR keeps track of how often datasets are downloaded or accessed.

  • Reviewing the social science literature. Researchers can explore the Bibliography of Data-related Literature that links ICPSR studies with thousands of publications in the professional literature.

  • Scientific norms. ICPSR makes possible the crucial work of replication, verification, extension of findings, and reuse of data that is at the heart of research in the social sciences.

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