Return to Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (thing)

More commonly known as ICPSR, this organization was founded in 1962 at the University of Michigan. ICPSR holds a world-reknowned archive of social science datasets, making them available to scientists in an effort to increase the capabilities of the research community.

To help in their mission, the ICPSR offers summer training for scientists in statistical methods such as research design, multiple regression, ANOVA, and so forth. The classes are offered to help researchers apply new statistical techniques to older datasets in order to increase the understanding of the data collected there.

It is not well known that data from the United States Census has been deposited with the ICPSR for the past 30 years. ICPSR keeps information like this in two forms. They attempt to preserve the original media, be they magentic tapes or punch cards, but they also convert the datasets to a format that can be imported by most analysis software. That data usually has attached an artifact called a codebook, which describes metadata about the dataset, including the constraints under which the data were collected, the codes for the data, orginal formats and orginal study design.

More information about the ICPSR can be found at http://www.icspr.umich.edu. This resource is currently used by 400 colleges and universities across the planet.

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