Scientific Data approves openICPSR as Recommended Data Repository

We're pleased to announce that openICPSR is now an officially recommended repository for Scientific Data.

Scientific Data is an open access journal from Nature Publishing Group that aids discoverability, citation, and reuse of research data. Scientific Data's article types, known as Data Descriptors, are designed to provide curated descriptions of valuable data that may otherwise be under-utilized by the scientific community.

There are a number of reasons why an increasing number of scientists are deciding to take this important extra step:

  • Citable, peer-reviewed credit for their dataset
  • Enhanced discoverability of their work through exposure on Nature.com
  • Publication of valuable datasets that may not be well suited for traditional research journals
  • Recognition to researchers who may not qualify for authorship of traditional articles

Scientific Data welcomes articles from all areas of science. Its open access policy ensures articles are made freely available online and exposed to the widest possible audience. You can see an example article here: The multilayer temporal network of public transport in Great Britain.

As part of your research, it is likely you already have all the information you need to prepare a Data Descriptor. And as openICPSR is now fully recommended by the journal,you won't need to move your data from openICPSR.org to publish in the journal.

To find out more about publishing your article(s), please email Scientific Data. Questions on publishing your social and behavioral science research data with openICPSR should be sent to netmail@icpsr.umich.edu.


Civil Union Study 2000-2002, United States (ICPSR 31241)

Vermont was the first state in the United States to legalize same-sex relationships in mid-2000, so that same-sex couples could have the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples at the state level. Same-sex couples came to Vermont from all over the country to legalize their relationships. During the first year that this legislation was enacted, 80 percent of civil unions were acquired by out-of-state residents. In 2002, a project was conducted that compared couples who had civil unions in Vermont during the first year of that new legislation (July 2000-June 2001) with same-sex couples in their friendship circles who had not had civil unions, and with heterosexual married siblings (Solomon, Rothblum, and Balsam, 2004; 2005). The focus was on demographic factors, length of relationship, social support from family and friends, contact with families of origin, social and political activities, degree of "outness," and division of housework, child care, and finances. This was the first study to focus on same-sex couples in legalized relationships in the United States. It was also the first study to examine same-sex couples recruited from a population instead of a convenience sample, because civil unions are a matter of public record. Results indicated very few differences between same-sex couples in civil unions and those not in civil unions, particularly for women... Consequently, that study was more about who chooses to have a civil union versus those who do not. It was less about how being in a civil union changes a relationship -- for that, follow-up research is needed. Demographic variables include age, race, education, religion, sexual orientation, income, and occupation.


Click here to explore variables

New Releases through 2015-03-29

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.


Recent News from IUSSP on Demography, Demographers, and the Data Revolution

Recent news on "Demography, Demographers, and the Data Revolution" from the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) covers topics including:
  1. Data Revolution for Sustainable Development
  2. Population-related indicators proposed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Scientific panels on two topics related to the Data Revolution: Big Data and Population Processes and Innovations for Strengthening Vital Registration Systems
  4. The Cartagena Data Festival: Better Data for a Better Tomorrow, which takes place on April 20-22 in Cartagena, Columbia
  5. An invitation to attend Session 170 on Demography, Demographers and the Data Revolution for attendees of the 2015 Population Association of America's Annual Meeting in San Diego
More information can be found on the IUSSP web page here.


New Releases through 2015-03-22

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.


Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Survey (CMPS), 2008 (ICPSR 35163)

The 2008 Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Survey (CMPS) is a national telephone survey of registered voters, with comparably large samples of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Whites. The telephone survey, conducted between November 9, 2008 and January 5, 2009, is the first multiracial and multilingual survey of registered voters across multiple states and regions in a presidential election. In contrast to the 2008 American National Election Study (ANES) which oversampled Black and Latino voters, and was available in Spanish, the CMPS was available in six languages and contains robust samples of the four largest racial/ethnic groups: Whites, Latinos, Blacks, Asians. 

The CMPS contains 4,563 respondents who registered to vote in the November 2008 election and who self-identified as Asian, Black, Latino, and White. The survey was available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese and respondents were offered the opportunity to interview in their language of choice. The six states that were sampled to produced robust samples of all four major racial groups include California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and New Jersey, and the statewide samples range from 243 to 669 cases. In order to arrive at more nationally representative samples of each minority group, the study added two supplemental states per racial group, including Arizona and New Mexico (Latinos), North Carolina and Georgia (Blacks), Hawaii and Washington (Asians). Of these 12 states, 3 were considered political battlegrounds in the 2008 Presidential electorate -- New Mexico, Florida, and North Carolina. In order to examine multi-racial politics in competitive and non-competitive environments, the study supplemented the sample with six additional diverse battleground states: Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As of the 2008 election, two-thirds of the national electorate was concentrated in these 18 states. For Latinos, 92 percent of all registered voters reside in these states; 87 percent of Asian Americans; and 66 percent of Blacks, and 61 percent of Whites. The November 2008 CMPS provides estimates of the registered voter population by race, age, gender, and education level which was applied to the sample, by racial group, so that the distributions match those of the Census on these important demographic categories. In the study, there are 51 items dealing with sociopolitical attitudes, mobilization and political activity. Additionally, there are 21 items that capture demographic information, including: age, ancestry, birthplace, education, ethnicity, marital status, number in the household, religiosity, gender, media usage and residential context.


Click here to explore variables.

These data are available to those at ICPSR member institutions.


ICPSR seeks nominations for Flanigan and Miller Awards

As part of its mission to support the social and behavioral sciences, ICPSR presents biennial awards to individuals who have distinguished themselves in their service to the social science community. We are seeking your nominations for these two awards.

The Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences was initiated in 1993 to recognize individuals who have had a profound impact on social science research and infrastructure. Warren E. Miller, a founder of ICPSR and its first Executive Director, demonstrated throughout his career exemplary service to the social science community and a talent for building institutions that have survived beyond his direct involvement and continue to prosper.

The William H. Flanigan Award for Distinguished Service as an ICPSR Representative was established in 1995 and acknowledges significant contributions of individuals representing ICPSR member institutions. The award is named after William H. Flanigan, who served as ICPSR Official Representative from the University of Minnesota for 37 years, from ICPSR's inception in 1963 until 2000. He also served as Chair of the ICPSR Council from 1991 to 1993.

Visit our ICPSR awards page for more information on previous award recipients.

The ICPSR Prizes Committee is constituted in odd-numbered years to select candidates for these awards.  We are fortunate to have these members of the Committee for 2015: Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier (Ohio State University) (previous Miller Award recipient) and Ron Nakao (Stanford University), ICPSR Council representatives; Kathleen Mullan Harris (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Ms. Wendy Watkins (Carleton University), previous Miller Award Recipient and Flanigan Award Recipient respectively; and Sue Hodge, ICPSR staff representative.

Please send your nominations to this special email address: mf-awards@icpsr.umich.edu 
We greatly appreciate a brief summary of the individual's qualifications and explanation of why the nominee is a worthy recipient. The Prizes committee will consider the nominations, make a final determination of the award winners, and inform ICPSR Council of their decision. The awards will be given during the ICPSR Biennial Meeting of Official Representatives held September 30-October 2, 2015, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Nominations are due no later than April 3We welcome your recommendations of outstanding individuals for these two awards.


Bureau of Labor Statistics announces Consumer Expenditure Survey workshop and Survey Methods Symposium, set for June

The Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE) invites you, your colleagues, and students to attend the free 2015 CE Survey Methods Symposium and 10th annual Microdata Users’ Workshop being held in Washington, DC July 14–17, 2015.

 The July 14 CE Survey Methods Symposium is a half-day event to share information about recent findings and new projects in the CE’s survey methods program including updates about the Gemini Project to redesign the survey.

The July 15–17 CE Microdata Users’ Workshop provides a unique opportunity for CE data users to receive hands-on training and access to CE microdata experts. The workshop attracts academics, private sector researchers, and government professionals from all over the country and internationally. The agenda will include internal and external presenters chosen to enhance the learning experience. CE experts guide attendees through carefully crafted interactive practical training sessions. The structure and schedule of the three-day workshop provides maximum opportunity for attendees to engage with others who share their interest in learning more about using the CE microdata. One-on-one conferences with BLS CE experts can be scheduled.

Registration is now open for both events.

Consumer Expenditure Survey Series data is available to download from the ICPSR archives.


ICPSR Council Seeks Nominations for New Council Members

The ICPSR Council serves as the executive committee for ICPSR member institutions.  The Council sets general policy for the Consortium, approves fees and budgets, and performs other duties.  It consists of twelve members serving four-year terms. Six new members are elected by the Official Representatives every second year.

The Nominating Committee solicits your suggestions of persons with the experience, ability, and wisdom to serve on the Council.  Responsibility and willingness to work are also vital.  The Council meets three times each year, and members must devote time between meetings to review materials and undertake committee tasks.

The best way for the Nominating Committee to prepare a strong slate is to have suggestions from Official Representatives and other friends of the Consortium.  We seek a diversity of people and perspectives.  You may nominate someone from your own institution, or anyone you think is qualified. All Council members must be affiliated with member institutions.  Council members need not be current or former Official Representatives, but they should be active supporters of the social and behavioral science research enterprise.

The slate of six nominees will be announced to Official Representatives during early fall 2015, and the slate will be voted upon by electronic ballot following the OR Meeting in October, during which there will be an opportunity for write-in nominations, as before.  Newly elected members of Council will be seated at the first meeting of Council in 2016.

The Nominating Committee also nominates one of the continuing members to serve a two-year term as Council Chair.  We welcome your suggestions about who should serve in this position. 

In addition to two additional members to be appointed shortly by Council, these are the members of the Nominating Committee:
Christopher H. Achen, Princeton University; achen@princeton.edu
Marilyn Andrews, University of Regina; Marilyn.Andrews@uregina.ca
Tony N. Brown, Vanderbilt University; tony.n.brown@vanderbilt.edu
John Fox, McMaster University; jfox@mcmaster.ca
Linda J. Waite, University of Chicago; l-waite@uchicago.edu
Carl Lagoze, University of Michigan; clagoze@umich.edu

You should feel free to communicate directly with the members of the Nominating Committee (listed above), but it will help us if you send your suggestions to a special email address we have created:
In doing so, please provide a brief summary of the individual's qualifications, and make sure that the nomination reaches us by April 3, 2015. It would also be very helpful if you explained in your nomination why this person’s expertise would be valuable to ICPSR.

For your information, a list of the current members of the Council is below.
Thank you very much for your help with this important task.
George Alter
Director, ICPSR

Current members of the ICPSR Council:
Terms ending 2016:
Christopher H. Achen, Princeton University (Political Science)
Marilyn Andrews, University of Regina (Spatial & Numeric Data Services)
Tony N. Brown, Vanderbilt University (Sociology)
Carl Lagoze, University of Michigan (School of Information)
John Fox, McMaster University (Social Statistics)
Linda J. Waite, University of Chicago (Sociology)

Terms ending 2018:
Janet M. Box-Steffensmeier, Ohio State University (Political Science)
Robert S. Chen, Columbia University & CIESIN (Geography)
Philip N. Jefferson, Swarthmore College (Economics)
Chandra L. Muller, University of Texas at Austin (Sociology)
Ronald Nakao, Stanford University Libraries (Data & Computational Social Science)
William Vega, University of Southern California (Health and Aging)


New Releases through 2015-03-08

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.


Tentative Schedule Announced for ICPSR Biennial Meeting

The ICPSR Biennial Meeting will take place September 30 – October 2, 2015.
This year’s conference theme is “Working Together for Effective Data Stewardship.” With over 17 workshops and sessions in development, this biennial meeting will highlight ICPSR’s core functions, featuring current data collections and data-related tools and exciting new data projects. The meeting will also feature practical approaches and strategies to work with data producers to share data, write data management plans, steward discipline-focused repositories, and locate tools and resources to assist in curating and managing research data.

The meeting registration site is expected to be launched later this spring. Until then, below is a sneak peek at the workshops and sessions being organized.

Workshops Preview – Wednesday, September 30
Curating and Managing Research Data for Re-Use. Participants will learn about best practices for curating and managing research data, how to apply them to daily operations, and the types of tools that can assist. This workshop borrows highlights from the five-day workshop offered during the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. Laptops with Wi-Fi capability are recommended for this workshop.

“Just the Facts, Please.” Understanding Methods Metadata. Weights?  Panel study?  Universe?  Ever wonder what the terms in the “Methodology” metadata mean?  ICPSR datasets are described in detail by the research methods employed while collecting and analyzing the data. The metadata can be somewhat of a mystery or even intimidating for those not trained in data collection (methods) or analysis techniques. This workshop will give you just enough of an introduction to the vocabulary of social research to use this information confidently.  We  will walk through a number studies, using the ICPSR Study Home Page, to explain project metadata including the contents of the Scope of Study, Methodology, Versions, and Variables. After a thorough review of several different types of studies, attendees will be released to the ICPSR archive to find other studies and practice what they have learned. You’ll review the methods metadata in groups and share your interpretations of these sections. Participants will benefit by bringing laptops and/or tablets to this session.

Data Data Everywhere & Not a Number to Teach. Sifting through the many megabytes of data that we are bombarded with each day takes practice. This webinar will focus on teaching students how to evaluate the data with which they come in contact (think Joel Best’s books). We will also present a variety of sources for numbers that can be used in teaching and examples of their use. Because working with numerical evidence is as much or more a mindset as it is a set of mathematical skills, the content should be especially helpful for faculty who might otherwise consider themselves “non-quantitative.” Participants will benefit by bringing laptops and/or tablets to this session.

A Tour through the Statistical Software Maze. ICPSR offers data in a variety of statistical software formats as well as online analysis (Survey Documentation and Analysis, or SDA) capabilities. This hands-on introduction will enable attendees to get to know the software and SDA, removing curiosity and perhaps some trepidation. Note: this is an introductory workshop – no statistical background is assumed. Laptops with Wi-Fi capability are recommended for this workshop.

Orientation for New ORs/DRs: Fundamentals and an Introduction to the OR/DR Role. This session for new (and not so new) ORs will cover details on the organization of ICPSR and its governance, roles and responsibilities of the OR, where and to whom you can go for help, location and use of the ICPSR website, tips and tools for helping your users, and promoting ICPSR on your campus. This session is a must for those who are new to ICPSR. Come learn what makes this organization and the data it distributes so great!

ICPSR Refresher Course. After a short break from the OR/DR Orientation, this course will cover a broad overview of how to work effectively with ICPSR’s website, and provide a rapid tour through ICPSR’s various data collections and data tools, including the Resources for Instructors. We also will orient you to new research projects at ICPSR and introduce you to some outstanding ORs.

Sessions Preview – Thursday and Friday, October 1-2
Data Visualization. Get visual with this session that will show and tell about standard techniques of data visualization and power tools for understanding data. See various graphical techniques, from simple to advanced, and discuss principles of good data presentation.

Data Management Plans-from Writing to Reward. This session will provide attendees with practical advice and resources for writing a data management plan. The session will also cover how the ICPSR Acquisitions team estimates data curation costs for inclusion in grant/contract budgets as well as describe support letters and plan elements that benefit successful grant/contract awards.

ICPSR Featured Dataset: The Survey of Consumer Attitudes and Behavior. Initiated in the late 1940s by the Survey Research Center here at the Institute for Social Research, the Surveys of Consumers are used to calculate the Index of Consumer Sentiment. In addition, the data are used to evaluate consumer attitudes and expectations, to understand why these changes occur and to evaluate how they relate to consumer decisions to save, borrow, or make discretionary purchases. This session will highlight the Surveys of Consumers Website managed by the Survey Research Center, and illustrate how ICPSR’s archive of these collections differs from what users can obtain from that web site. Additionally, how each center (ICPSR, ISR, SRC) contributes and collaborates to this data series will be discussed.

Delivering Data Services to your Institution. This session is a glimpse into the Providing Social Science Data Services: Strategies for Design and Operation which caters to individuals who manage or support local services for ICPSR and other research data for quantitative analysis. The session will briefly highlight the fundamental topics covered in the workshop, including what are social science data services; a matrix of potential services to offer; and evaluating what is right for your organization and next steps.

The Sleuthful Data Steward: Strategies to Discover Research Data on your Campus & Argue for its Deposit. As a Data Steward, do you suspect there are data on your campuses or within your institution that should be shared and preserved? Have you argued unsuccessfully for its deposit? Join our Acquisitions team for strategies to discover data and convince researchers to deposit. Audience success strategies and stories (participation) will be encouraged!

Data Repository Best Practice – Guidelines and Tales from the Field. Developing a data repository involves many decisions – for example, what kinds of data will you accept? What level of curation will you perform? What types of staff members do you need? What policies will you put into place? The repository needs to think broadly about processes and procedures for all of its activities, from acquisitions, to preservation, to data sharing. This session will cover best practices in developing discipline-focused repositories, illustrated with a real-life example provided by ICPSR staff who traveled to Ghana to collaborate with the University of Cape Coast in establishing a data repository.

Bringing Data into the Classroom. Explore the many data tools, content resources, and opportunities ICPSR has developed to assist in getting data into the classroom. We will even debut a few new resources at this session. Time will be left for discussion among attendees about how they have incorporated those ICPSR tools into the classroom and encouraged others on their campus to do so.  Learn what works (and what doesn’t) from those who have tried it.

Building Research Data Management Services. Join this panel of fellow data stewards as they describe their efforts to build research data management services at their institutions. Come with questions and share your experiences and challenges too!

All About ICPSR. ICPSR has been in the data-sharing business for 53 years. There are many parts to the organization supporting its core mission to acquire, preserve, and share data. This session will cover the core as well as highlight areas of teaching and education, data management and curation services, and our data collections including our newest collections, The National Archive of Data on Arts & Culture, The Archive of Data on Disability to Enable Policy and Research, and openICPSR.

Understanding ICPSR Data (Deposit) Sharing Options. ICPSR has several options for depositing, curating, and sharing research data. This session will cover the options including the member archive, agency archives, openICPSR (public access), and importantly, how you determine which option suits the dataset needs. ICPSR options and considerations regarding sharing restricted-use data are also included in this session.

Bring Your Own Data to Publish – BYOD! Do you or someone you know have data ready to deposit with ICPSR?  Don’t have data but would like to learn about the process of depositing data with ICPSR?  Schedule a one-on-one drop-in appointment.
The 2015 ICPSR Meeting will also include formal and informal opportunities to network with fellow representatives (attendees) from member institutions and ICPSR staff. The meeting is open to individuals from member institutions and invited guests and speakers. There is no registration fee for the meeting.

Also in Development! Data Carpentry Workshop – Monday and Tuesday, September 28-29
The popular two-day Data Carpentry workshop is designed to teach basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data in an open and reproducible way. The workshop is designed for learners with little to no prior knowledge of programming, shell scripting, or command line tools. Topics covered will include:
·      Getting data out of spreadsheets and into more powerful tools – using R or Python.
·      Using databases, including managing and querying data in SQL.
·      Workflows and automating repetitive tasks, in particular using the command line shell and shell scripts.

More information to come soon!