Using the downloaded data requires some basic knowledge of statistical analysis techniques and some familiarity with statistical analysis software packages (SAS, SPSS, Stata). If you lack these skills, obtain assistance from a colleague, knowledgeable faculty and staff, or visit IT Support Services.
When you find a study that you wish to download, you will see a variety of download links on the study home page:
Download documentation files (login not required)
Download select files (traditional download page)
Download all files (file size)
The "download all files" link is also present as a large green button just to the right of the study title. Before downloading the data, you may want to do two things to assure that the study meets your needs.
Click on the "View study description" link and carefully review the description of the study. This may include important information about file formats and other unique characteristics of the data.
Click on the "Browse documentation files" link and view the documentation files, including the codebook (sample codebook).
Although most ICPSR datasets provide system files, for some datasets only ASCII data and setup files are available. Setup files allow you to read the data files into your statistical software package. These files contain the syntax or program code to read ASCII data into your software package. ICPSR currently provides setup files for SAS, SPSS, and Stata. These are examples of setup files:
ICPSR currently offers online analysis components for selected data collections using Survey Documentation Analysis (SDA). Users can perform online data analysis on the ICPSR Web site without downloading files.