Skip to Main Content

How to Use ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research)

Find Data

  • One can search by geography, restriction type, data format, collection method, data type, time method, time period, recent releases, funding agency, thematic collection, data availability, investigator, investigator affiliation, mode of data collection, and more.
  • All studies are described using terms from the ICPSR Subject Thesaurus; these terms will appear as "Subject" filters on the left side of the results page.
  • Because our holdings are large, we recommend using at least two query terms:
    refugees massachusetts
    children COVID-19
  • Keywords help delimit the breadth of results. Therefore, use as many as required to achieve your desired results:
    college students drinking
  • Our search will find studies with derivative expressions of your query terms: A search for "nation"will find results containing "national"
  • Use quotes to search for an exact match:
    "mass incarceration"
  • You can combine exact expressions with loose terms:
    "united states" inmates
  • Exclude results by using a MINUS sign:
    "parental leave" -Denmark -Norway
    will exclude Danish and Norwegian parental leave research 


Below is a search for the keywords women and violence:



Other ways to search:

Search / Compare Variables

The Social Science Variables Database (SSVD) enables ICPSR users to examine and compare variables and questions across studies or series. The SSVD currently includes over 5 million variables, representing about 76% of ICPSR's holdings that have quantitative data described in statistical syntax.

Anthropology/Sociology & interim Philosophy Librarian

Profile Photo
Chris Smith
Mugar Memorial Library