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Accessing ICPSR datasets at AU

Preparing to obtain datasets from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research when away from campus.


What is ICPSR?

ICPSR stands for Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research - an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations (and one of the world's largest and oldest social science data archives), of which American University is an institutional member. Thereby, AU faculty, students, and staff can find data and data-related publicationsdeposit their own research data, and use data in teaching and learning - and if needing assistance with any of that, contact AU's Official Representative (OR) or Designated Representative (DR) to ICPSR. CTRL also offers an Introduction to ICPSR.

Downloading datasets from ICPSR

In order to download datasets from ICPSR, or analyze data online where available, AU users must set up an ICPSR account and then log into it - both by clicking on Log In in the upper right corner of most ICPSR web pages -  and agree to ICPSR's terms of use whenever prompted. Setting up an individual ICPSR account is required for data access, in addition to "proving" affiliation with AU (as the ICPSR member institution) by connecting to ICPSR from an AU IP-address for account setup. The initial account setup must therefore occur either:

  1. while connected to the AU campus (eagle-secure wireless, or wired) network, or
  2. while connected to the AU VPN, or 
  3. via the ICPSR entry on the library's list of databases.

After that initial account setup, the account will the authorized for accessing data from ICPSR for up to 1/2 year, even if the login occurs from outside of the AU IP address range. After that time period, however, the account has to be re-authenticated by one of the three methods described above. (These procedures are subject to change by ICPSR.)

Connecting to and downloading datasets from ICPSR is recommended only via the first two of those three connection methods - the third one, which relies on OpenAthens for proxying, may cause technical difficulties for such use. AU users who expect to need to download ICPSR data while away from campus are therefore urged to set up their AU VPN connection before leaving.

Help with statistical software/analyses

Where can I get help with statistical software/analyses?

If you need help with

  • selecting or using statistical software, or
  • choosing appropriate methodologies for analyses given your data and research question(s), or
  • interpreting or selecting the outputs of statistical analyses

or related matters: Work with the appropriate support contact in your academic unit, or: