Slide 1

An Introduction to ICPSR:
Resources for Psychology
Lynette Hoelter, Ph.D.
Director, Instructional Resources &
California Lutheran University
October 21, 2009
Getting to Know ICPSR:
• What is ICPSR? From where do the data come?
• Why do individuals use ICPSR?
 Supporting Social Sciences Research
 Enhancing undergraduate and graduate education
• Training and tools available
• How do I get started using ICPSR?
 Finding data
 Creating a MyData account
 Downloading data
What is ICPSR?
• One of the world’s oldest and largest social science data
 Established in 1962 (as ICPR) so that social scientists could
share data
• Data distributed on punch cards, then magnetic reel-toreel tape, and now
 Data available instantaneously
 Just under 7,600 studies with over 62,500 data sets
• Membership organization that started as a partnership
among 21 universities, now:
 Currently over 680 members world-wide
 Federal funding allows parts of the collection to be available to all
What we do:
• Seek out researchers, PIs, research agencies and
collect data files and pertinent documents related to
the original research
Process the data and documents
 Output data into multiple formats (ASCII, SAS, SPSS
[PASW], Stata, SDA)
Preserve it for the future
Disseminate data directly to the desktops of students
and researchers for secondary analysis
Provide education, training, & instructional resources
 Summer Program in Quantitative Methods
 Undergraduate and graduate teaching resources to support
quantitative literacy
About the Data:
• ICPSR archives both U.S. and international data
• Data Sources:
 Government (census, government organizations)
 Large data collection efforts (National Longitudinal Study of
Adolescent Health, Panel Study of Income Dynamics)
 Polls (ABC and CBS news polls, voter polls)
 Principle Investigators (Chitwan Valley Family Study, Marital
Instability Over the Life Course)
 New combinations (Integrated Fertility Survey Series, Collaborative
Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys)
 Other organizations (NCAA)
Popular Downloads:
American National Election Study: Pre- and Post-Election Survey (2004)
American Time Use Survey
Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys
Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999
General Social Survey (Cumulative1972-2006)
Global Terrorism Database II
Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study
National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
Cumulative file, 2001-2003: National Comorbidity Survey Replication, National Survey of
American Life, National Latino and Asian American Study
Waves1-3 : In-home questionnaire sections, network variables, education data,
contextual data, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test Score data
National Survey of America’s Families
National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Supporting Social Science Research
Supporting Research:
• Data and Documentation for students & researchers
 Allows for replication, further understanding of published
findings, new research
Used in papers, theses/dissertations, and reports
Bibliography of Related Literature
 Over 48,000 citations
 Full-text available
Free user support
Education and training
 Summer Program courses held at UM and other campuses
Undergraduate student paper competitions and
summer internship opportunities
Enhancing Education:
• Supporting Quantitative Literacy
• Engages students with disciplines more fully
 Better picture of how social scientists work
 Prevents some of the feelings of “disconnect” between substantive
and technical courses
• Piques student interest
• Opens the door to the world of data
Specialty Archives/Thematic Collections
• Data grouped by substantive topic
• Many archives, including:
Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR)*
National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD)*
National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)*
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA)*
Resource Center for Minority Data(MDRC)
Child Care and Early Education Center (Research Connections)
International Data Resource Center (IDRC)
General Archive
*Data in these archives are available to non-members
Archives of Interest for Psychology
• Child Care and Early Education Research
Connections (CEERC)
• Collaborative Psychiatric Epidemiology Surveys
• National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
• Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
Using Data in Class:
Modules based on Research Methods
Online Learning Center
Data-Related Bibliography
Online Analysis
Investigating Community and Social Capital
 Uses 3 data sets including the General Social Survey,
DDB Needham Life Style Surveys, and State-level data
to reproduce findings from Robert Putnam’s Bowling
 Teaches students how to browse codebooks, devise
and execute cross tabulations and summary statistics
 Helps teach replication of scientific evidence
Exploring Data Through Research Literature
 Designed to teach quantitative
research methods to
undergraduates in a different way.
 Integrates ICPSR bibliography of
data related literature into
teaching students how make their
way from ideas to empirical work
to literature and back.
 Suitable for both research
methods and other substantive
courses requiring empirical
• Tool to help develop classroom lectures and exercises
that integrate data early into the learning process.
• Intended for use in introductory-level substantive classes.
• OLC addresses key concerns raised by teaching faculty
in focus groups and in-depth interviews.
• Data-driven Learning Guides on a variety of topics
• Requires no additional software.
• Webinar on using the OLC in class on ICPSR website
Using the OLC: How to Find It
• Directly:
• Through ICPSR homepage
 Under Teaching & Learning
 In list of Thematic Collections
• Coming soon: Data-driven learning guides
linked from datasets under “Teach” section on
study home page
How to Use the OLC
• Choosing a DDLG – several search tools
within the OLC
• Faculty use of charts in class to introduce
• Registering students through MyClass
• Sending students to the Website to work
through a DDLG in class or as homework
• Using DDLG as part of larger project
How to Use the OLC
• Choosing a DDLG – several search tools
within the OLC
• Faculty use of charts in class to introduce
• Registering students through MyClass
• Sending students to the Website to work
through a DDLG in class or as homework
• Using DDLG as part of larger project
Online Analysis Software
• Survey Documentation & Analysis (SDA) developed
at UC Berkeley
• Web-based, requires no additional software or
• Over 500 datasets available for use with SDA
• Easy for students but sophisticated analyses
available for researchers
• Good for preliminary analyses to determine whether
data will work for a particular research question (e.g.,
RCMD subsetting tools)
ICPSR’s Data-Related Bibliography
• Publications based on data held at ICPSR
• Growing the Data Bibliography
 ICPSR staff continuously searching for data citations
 Encouraging the use of data citations (included in all
downloads & on the documentation page!)
• Ability to see the article citation and click through for
full-text (link resolver)
• More searchers start on the bibliography search than
on the data search!
Research Opportunities for Students
 Research paper
competitions - a research
journal experience & cash
 Paid student internships
focusing on social
sciences research.
• Experience in both
data management and
conducting a research
• NSF-REU submitted to
fund the program
For More Info:
• Explore the website -
• Sign up for our email announcements
• Attend or view our webinars (open to the public!)
• View sessions from our virtual OR meeting (Oct. 2009)
• Get help! – [email protected] (User Support)
Remaining Questions?...
Lynette Hoelter
[email protected]

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