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Framing your Research
Define your topic or research question. Be specific.
Determine your unit of analysis. Consider who or what you want to study, as well as when and where.
Search strategies to identify a data set:
- Literature search: search a database relevant to your subject area for articles that have conducted related analysis and identify the datasets they used.
- Going straight to a likely source: check to see if there is a particular organization or government agency that collects the type of data that you need. Try searching their website or publications.
- Data archive search: Try searching through a large data archive, such as ICPSR.
Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
A free ICPSR account is required to download data. The account must be created on-campus and accessed from on-campus at least once every six months to otherwise access ICPSR restricted data off-campus.
Provides access to computerized social science data collected by the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving member colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.