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Social Sciences Data: ICPSR and More

This guide provides information about locating datasets for use in the social sciences (with a bit about data in the humanities and big data in STEM fields). It also has resources on using datasets (including in teaching) and associated issues.

Methods Resources at the WSU Libraries


ICPSR (The Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) is a major source of social science datasets for Washington State University faculty, students and staff. ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction. You can download data and documentation directly from ICPSR to any computer on all of the WSU campuses; you can also download from off-campus once you have created an ICPSR account (the account needs to be logged in at least once every six months from a campus location. Contact Lorena (see below or on the right side of this page) if this is an issue).

Because of licensing restrictions certain categories of data held or made available by ICPSR are only available to current WSU students, faculty, or staff. Patrons wishing to gain access to the datafiles and documentation available at WSU or needing assistance with downloading information from ICPSR should contact Lorena O'English at

Note: You will need to create an ICPSR MyData account to download many (but not all) ICPSR files - if you are off-campus, please contact Lorena O'English at You will need to log in with your ICPSR account at least once every six months from a WSU campus computer to keep your account validated - more info on your ICPSR account (if this is a problem, contact Lorena at

Data files may be available in multiple formats. Some may require  special Set-Up files to be read into your specific statistical software tool (i.e. converting file formats from tab delimited to Stata). Useful information is available in the Help FAQ under Analyse. You will be able to filter by data format from the results page of each search.

Bibliographies of Data-Related Literature

"The Bibliography of Data-Related Literature is a continuously-updated database of thousands of citations of works using data held in the ICPSR archive. The works include journal articles, books, book chapters, government and agency reports, working papers, dissertations, conference papers, meeting presentations, unpublished manuscripts, magazine and newspaper articles, and audiovisual materials."

The Roper Bibliography - "This is a bibliography of [research] publications that use data from the Roper Center. Some cite information on overall responses obtained from iPOLL; some are based on individual-level analyses of datasets held by the Roper Center, and others use our Presidential approval series or other indexes constructed from Roper Center data."

Finding Data Repositories

Other Sources

WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us