Share Data

How to Share Data

CivicLEADS welcomes and encourages deposits of digital data. Deposits are made using a secure data deposit form to describe the data collection and upload content.

Data Deposit Form

For deposits that involve physical materials, please contact

What Should My Deposit Include?

Deposits should include all data and documentation necessary to independently read and interpret the data collection. Key instructions for preparing data and documentation are listed below. For a discussion of best practice in preparing data for sharing, please refer to ICPSR's Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving, or contact us directly (

Data File

CivicLEADS encourages depositors to submit data files as SAS, SPSS, or Stata files. ASCII files are also acceptable as long as they are accompanied with setup files. Datasets in other formats are accepted as well.

Each variable in the data collection should have a set of exhaustive, mutually-exclusive codes. Variable labels and value labels should clearly describe the information or question recorded in that variable. Missing data codes should be defined.

CivicLEADS knows the importance of qualitative and geospatial data in civic education and engagement research. Researchers wishing to archive and share qualitative, audiovisual, or GIS data are encourage to deposit their data with CivicLEADS.

Identifying information should be removed from the data to protect confidentiality.


Documentation files are integral to interpreting a data collection and should thoroughly explain the data collection. Examples of documentation files:

  • codebooks
  • data collection instruments
  • summary statistics
  • project summaries
  • bibliographies of publications pertaining to the data

Documentation can be submitted as Microsoft Word, ASCII, and DDI XML files, among other formats. Documentation that has the question text integrated with variable information is preferred.


Every new or revised CivicLEADS study includes a study description, which provides summary information about the data collection. Study descriptions are valuable resources to data users, and include both general information, such as study title and summary, as well as more detailed information about the study design and methodology. Much of the information used by CivicLEADS data archivists to create the study description comes from the CivicLEADS data deposit form.