What are ICPSR's terms of use? What are the consequences of violating the terms of use agreement for ICPSR data?

Our terms of use vary depending upon how we acquired the study. ICPSR 20460 is distributed under our standard terms of use:

ICPSR 4457, on the other hand, was acquired from the National Institute of Justice, which stipulates additional terms of use:

Studies acquired from the National Center for Health Statistics have additional terms:

When you download a study from ICPSR, you will be required to agree to the terms of use prior to receiving the files, and a copy of the terms of use will be included with your download.

What are the consequences of violating the terms of use agreement for ICPSR data?

Subjects who participate in surveys and other research instruments distributed by ICPSR expect their responses to remain confidential. The data distributed by ICPSR are for statistical analysis, and they may not be used to identify specific individuals or organizations. Although ICPSR takes steps to assure that subjects cannot be identified, users are also obligated to act responsibly and not to violate the privacy of subjects intentionally or unintentionally.

If ICPSR determines that the terms of use agreement has been violated, one or more steps will be taken, which may include:

  • ICPSR may revoke the existing agreement, demand the return of the data in question, and deny all future access to ICPSR data.

  • The violation may be reported to the Research Integrity Officer, Institutional Review Board, or Human Subjects Review Committee of the user's institution. A range of sanctions are available to institutions including revocation of tenure and termination.

  • If the confidentiality of human subjects has been violated, the case may be reported to the Federal Office for Human Research Protections. This may result in an investigation of the user's institution, which can result in institution-wide sanctions including the suspension of all research grants.

  • A court may award the payment of damages to any group(s) or individual(s) harmed by the breach of the agreement.