Search/Compare Variables

The Social Science Variables Database (SSVD) enables users to search for variables across datasets, compare results, and download data.

Search results may be viewed individually, or in the context of the study and/or series to which they belong.

The SSVD currently includes variable-level documentation for approximately 48 percent of ICPSR's holdings, excluding US Census data. This amounts to roughly 1.9 million variables.

Search Tips

  • Enter words or strings that are likely to appear in a variable name, label, question, and value labels:
    Presidential election will return variables dealing with all presidential elections
    Presidential election Obama will return only variables dealing with the 2008 presidential election
  • Use quotes to search for specific phrases:
    "life satisfaction" "minority rights" "community programs"
  • Use a minus sign (-) to exclude results:
    "Presidential debate" -"Bill Clinton" will eliminate the debates from 1992 and 1996 in which Clinton participated
  • A Boolean "and" is implied in the search.
  • The search automatically does stemming (more info); there's no need to type in an asterisk. It's also case-insensitive.

Comparing Variables

You can compare variables using the checkboxes and the "Compare" button on the search results page from your desktop or tablet device.

screenshot focusing on compare variable buttons on variable search results screen