Additional ICPSR Services

ICPSR provides several additional services to data depositors and users in order to facilitate data use, avoid duplication of effort, and promote the secondary analysis of social science data.

Digital Object Identifiers

A Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a unique persistent identifier for a published digital object, such as an article or a study. A DOI also links to an article or study. Here is an example of a citation for an ICPSR study with a DOI:

Deschenes, Elizabeth Piper, Susan Turner, and Joan Petersilia. Intensive Community Supervision in Minnesota, 1990-1992: A Dual Experiment in Prison Diversion and Enhanced Supervised Release. ICPSR06849-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. doi:10.3886/ICPSR06849

The DOI in this example is 10.3886/ICPSR06849 and it links to the URL:

ICPSR maintains DOIs for data depositors so that the link will always work. On most websites, DOIs are clickable objects.

ICPSR assigns DOIs for each study we hold; we also encourage their use for journal publications and other articles to make it easier for researchers to find relevant work.

DOIs are also part of an integrated network of linkages between articles and datasets that is maintained by publishers and archives through registration agencies like CrossRef. The inclusion of DOIs in citations makes it much easier for us to see how a report or dataset generates other research, which in turn assists researchers in demonstrating the value and scientific impact of their work.

For more information, see ICPSR's FAQ on DOIs.

Online Analysis

ICPSR provides users the ability to analyze data on the Web without downloading entire datasets for use with statistical packages like SAS, Stata, or SPSS. This lets researchers assess whether a dataset is relevant to their needs relatively quickly.

We use Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) software developed and maintained by the Computer-Assisted Survey Methods Program at the University of California, Berkeley.

SDA allows users to:

  • Search for variables of interest in a dataset
  • Review frequencies or summary statistics of key variables to determine what further analyses are appropriate
  • Review frequencies or summary statistics for missing data
  • Produce simple summary statistics for reports
  • Create statistical tables and charts from raw data
  • Create a subset of cases or variables from a large collection to save time and storage space when downloading to a personal computer
  • Browse the electronic codebook

More sophisticated analysis options are also possible in SDA. More than 750 of ICPSR's datasets are available in SDA.

For more information on SDA:

ICPSR also provides tutorials on how to use SDA:

Bibliography of Data-Related Literature

First published in 2002, ICPSR's Bibliography of Data-Related Literature is a searchable database of more than 60,000 citations of published and unpublished works resulting from analyses of data held in the ICPSR archive.

The project was developed with support from the National Science Foundation. Its goal is to facilitate the use of ICPSR holdings by providing potential users a means to investigate previous research that used ICPSR data.

The Bibliography makes it possible to:

  • Identify much of the research that has already been undertaken using a given ICPSR dataset
  • Replicate analyses in order to understand, evaluate, and build upon others' findings
  • Determine the usage patterns of data resources
  • Investigate the life cycle of data and the types of analyses undertaken
  • Learn more about methodological issues, some of which are covered solely in the published literature
  • Understand the limitations as well as the research potential of the data, by seeing the data in use and reading the observations and findings of other researchers
  • Avoid accidentally duplicating, in whole or in part, an analysis that has already been done
  • Identify cross-disciplinary implications and uses of the data

Users can access information from the bibliography two ways. Firstly, the project has a search engine that searches all included citations. Secondly, each home page for ICPSR datasets contains a link to citations from the bibliography based on the data.

ICPSR regularly searches a variety of databases and journals to find published articles to include in the bibliography.

For more information:

Social Science Variables Database

The Social Science Variables Database is a searchable database of nearly 2 million variables from approximately 2,600 studies held at ICPSR.

The database allows users to find variables that may be relevant to their research across multiple studies. The database began in 2003 as a pilot project funded by the National Science Foundation. The continuing additions to the database take advantage of the XML tagging recommended by the Data Documentation Intitative, which make searches much easier.

In 2010, advanced searches of the database became possible, including geographic and time-period facets, as well as the ability to refine searches by fields or combinations of fields in the variables description.

Utilization Reports

Through utilization reports that became available in 2011, ICPSR provides data depositors with information on the usage of their datasets. The reports show how many times a dataset has been viewed and downloaded by data users, as well as information on users' academic status (i.e., faculty, graduate student, or undergraduate) and institutions. Identities of individual users are not disclosed.

Figures 1 and 2 show an example of a utilization report for the Community Supervision in Minnesota, 1990-1992 dataset.

Figure 1

Figure 2