Research Projects

ICPSR partners with other institutions on Research Projects that span a number of disciplines. The emerging fields of data science and digital curation are key research areas for ICPSR, with a special focus on issues involved in disclosure risk and human subjects protection. In addition, ICPSR collaborates on best practice in the areas of social science metadata and documentation as well as digital preservation. Also part of ICPSR's research portfolio are primary research projects, with an emphasis on historical demography and the environment. Directors of ICPSR's Thematic Collections also conduct research in their respective disciplines, an added benefit of partnership and collaboration.

China Multi-Generational Panel Dataset

The China Multi Generational Panel Dataset - Liaoning consists of 1.5 million triennial observations of more than 260,000 residents from approximately 700 communities in the Liaoning Province of China collected between 1749 and 1909. Through record linkage, as many as seven generations of paternal pedigrees can be reconstructed. The dataset is unique among publicly available population databases because of its time span, volume, detail, and completeness of recording.

Data Documentation Initiative (DDI)

The Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) is an emerging standard for social science metadata that is being developed by an international group called the DDI Alliance. Version 3.0 of the DDI documents the life cycle of research data from the start of a research project through data dissemination.

Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data-PASS)

Data-PASS acquires, preserves, and disseminates data from opinion polls, voting records, large-scale surveys, and other social science studies, many of which are considered at risk of being lost.

Digital Preservation Management Tutorial

An award-wining Digital Preservation Management tutorial that provides an introduction to the basic tenets of digital preservation and is geared toward librarians, archivists, curators, managers, and technical specialists. ICPSR also provides of the Digital Preservation Management workshop curriculum that builds on the tutorial content.

Grammars of Death: Nineteenth Century Literal Causes of Death from the Age of Miasmas to Germ Theory

This project investigates the later nineteenth-century mortality plateau and eventual mortality transition in America, through a formal semantic analysis of literal causes of death in the Connecticut River Valley mill towns of Holyoke and Northampton, Massachusetts from 1850 to 1912. We address the problem of precision of historical cause-of-death data through an integrated archival social history of death reporting, and analyses of changing historical cause-of-death nomenclature, social biases in the reporting of deaths and probabilistic cause-of-death classification.

Integrated Fertility Survey Series (IFSS)

IFSS offers data and tools for examining issues related to families and fertility in the United States spanning five decades. IFSS encompasses the Growth of American Families (GAF), National Fertility Surveys (NFS), and National Surveys of Family Growth (NSFG), as well as a single dataset of harmonized variables across all ten surveys. Analytic tools make it possible to quickly and easily explore the data and obtain information about changes in behaviors and attitudes across time.

Population and Environment in the U.S. Great Plains

A study of the reciprocal relationship between population and environment in the American Great Plains focusing on the relationship between the agricultural land-use and demographic behavior. The researchers have collected county-level data on agriculture, population, and the biophysical environment from between 1870 and the present (for roughly 450 counties), and collaborated on local small-scale studies.

Welfare, Children, & Families: A Three City Study

This research project is an intensive study in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio to assess the well-being of low-income children and families in the post-welfare reform era. The project investigates the strategies families have used to respond to reform, in terms of employment, schooling or other forms of training, residential mobility, and fertility. Central to this project is a focus on how these strategies affect children's lives, with an emphasis on their health and development as well as their need for, and use of, social services.