Social Science Variables Database

About the Social Science Variables Database

This version of the variables database builds on a pilot project, funded by the National Science Foundation, that demonstrated the benefits of using structured variable-level documentation in XML tagged according to the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) standard. This version of the database expands on that initial effort by greatly increasing the number of studies searched and by making the database compliant with the most recent version of the DDI specification, Version 3.1. The variables search now encompasses nearly 3,500 files representing about 1,300 studies and 30 percent of the ICPSR holdings with setup files. Over a million variables can now be searched, and ICPSR continues to add content. The database does not include Census-type statistics.

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Search for Variables

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

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 1300 studies, which represent about 20 percent of ICPSR's holdings excluding US Census data. This amounts to roughly 1.2 million variables.


Features of the SSVD

All PHDCN studies can be searched at the variable level. While the main ICPSR search engine searches titles, principal investigators, and study descriptions, the variable-level search capability also searches variable labels, value labels, and question text.

The following results page screen shot lists all of the PHDCN data collections that contain the word "knife."

screen shot of variable search results page

From that page you can select the variable name or description to view the detail page about that variable.

screen shot of variable details page

The variable detail page also offers these options: