Selecting an Official Representative or Designated Representative

Member institutions are advised to choose Official Representatives who are familiar with the data holdings at ICPSR and can promote the effective use of quantitative data within the institution. Many member institutions appoint both an Official Representative (OR) and a Designated Representative (DR). For example, an OR might be a faculty member in the social sciences, and the DR a data professional who works within a library.

ORs generally provide assistance finding, accessing, and analyzing ICPSR data. While ORs and DRs may not always be experts in statistical software and data analysis, they are able to refer users to others in their institution who can help answer technical and methodological questions.

ORs have these other important responsibilities:

  • Financial management. ORs make sure that the annual dues are paid. Some member institutions assign ICPSR dues to the library or a specific department. Others divide the costs among all the departments using the resources.
  • Liaison. ICPSR communicates to member institutions through ORs. These communications involve policy issues, updates to member services, and Summer Program course and schedule information.
  • Governance. Every two years, ORs elect 6 of the 12 members of the Advisory Council that governs ICPSR. ORs also are invited to participate in biennial meetings of the membership.

See the OR Handbook for more information.