OR Handbook: Glossary

Affiliates - students, faculty and staff at the college, university or specialized school that has ICPSR membership. This does not include alumni who retain a university email address.

Associate Members - institutions that are government, research, nonprofit, or commercial ventures. Associate membership does not carry voting privileges.

ASCII - (pronounced: AS-key) the format in which ICPSR archives data.

Bibliography of Data-Related Literature - a listing of publications that cite ICPSR data.

Browse/Search Data by Topic - a method of searching ICPSR data holding based on the Thematic Category to which the subject belongs.

Codebook - a document (file) that provides information on a particular study, including the structure, contents, and layout of the data file(s).

Daily Manifest - a listing of all data downloaded during the previous 24-hour period that is provided to the OR/DR.

Data - electronic numeric values that represent observations for variables.

Data file - the raw collected data from which statistics may be extrapolated. It consists of rows and columns of alphanumeric characters. ICPSR data are typically formatted as ASCII data. The file displays a .txt extension.

Expert Staff - member of ICPSR and its archives whose job it is to acquire, process and archive data, and have a solid understanding of those materials.

Federation - a membership in the US or Canada consisting of more than two logically related institutions.

Federation Coordinator - person who administers the Federation, also called the HubOR.

Freely available data - data that are made available for download to everyone under the terms and conditions of the funding agency or principal investigator.

Guest user - an anonymous authentication used to download data by users who choose not to be identified. This is only available through some of the topical archives.

HubOR - the OR for a Federation. The HubOR ensures that each member institution has an OR, receives the invoice for the Federation, and communicates between ICPSR and the Federation.

Institution - colleges, universities, and specialized schools that are in the business of higher education. They are the target market for ICPSR membership.

Member/Member Institution - a college, university, or specialized school that pays membership dues to ICPSR in exchange for access to data, discounted summer program fees, or other services. The member institution, in turn, makes this access available to its affiliates.

Members-only data - data that are limited for download to ICPSR members and their affiliates. In some cases, these data are available to nonmembers for a fee. However, there are some studies that may not be sold to nonmembers.

Metadata - information about data. Each study has a metadata file called the Description file. It contains information about the study such as its scope, the funding agency, the principal investigator, and details about the processing of the data.

MyData - ICPSR's user registration system. Anyone who wishes to download data from ICPSR's website is required to have and use a MyData account.

National Membership - A group of institutions from a single country outside of the US and Canada that join together for the benefit of ICPSR membership.

National Membership Coordinator - person who administers the National Membership.

Osiris - a software package that was used to process numeric data by ICPSR in the 1970s and 1980s.

Series/Series Data - study information that has been collection in a given research area or among a specific population group repeatedly over time.