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Downloading ICPSR Data

On-campus users:
1. Direct your browser to http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/ and use the search box to find the study of interest in the ICPSR archive.
2. In the Search Results click on the "Download" link beneath the study title of interest.
3. You will be asked to enter your email address and password. If you have not yet created your user account you can do so using the "Create Account" button provided. (NOTE: you should be at a UGA campus IP address when you create your account.)
4. Once you have arrived at the download page for your study you may follow the steps laid out on that page. This will enable you to select from available file formats and individual datasets prior to download. When you have made your selections be sure to do Step 3 (Add to Data Cart). Then simply click on Download Data Cart. You will then be presented with a Terms of Use agreement which you should read and agree to if you wish to continue with the download. After agreeing to the terms of use you will be presented with the File Download dialog box. Select 'Save' not 'Open' because the downloaded file will be in zipped format.
5. Once the downloaded zipped file is saved to your computer you can extract the contents by double-clicking on the file name or you can use third-party compression utility software such as WinZip if you have it installed on your computer.

    NOTE: If you have the choice to download multiple datasets within a study how do you know which ones to download?
    You should download/open the Codebook and other documentation files. The documentation files usually provide enough descriptive information to help determine which among multiple files you need.

    If there is a choice of file formats you may also need to determine which formats you need. In addition to several SPSS and SAS formats, you may now encounter Stata and Excel files among the download choices. Generally, only one format choice is needed but you may retrieve all formats if desired.

      If the SPSS or SAS "portable" file format is available in addition to the ASCII Data File + SPSS or SAS setup file format, select the portable format unless you have reason to create a highly customized subset of the data upfront in which case the ASCII data file + SPSS or SAS setup file might be a better choice. The portable format is ready to use and typically contains all the data as well as all or most of the variable labels and values.

      Feel free to contact the Data Librarian if you are uncertain about what file type will work best with your software.



6. What to do after downloading your files:
  • If you downloaded a compressed file you will need to use Winzip or a similar file compression utility to uncompress or "extract" the file to its original size.
  • If you downloaded an SPSS Setup file you should rename the uncompressed file so that the main part of the name is no more than 8 characters long and has an extension of ".sps", e.g., sp6542.sps
  • If you downloaded an SPSS portable format file you should rename the uncompressed file so that the main part of the name is no more than 8 characters long and has an extension of ".por", e.g., sp6542.por
  • If you downloaded an SPSS system format file you should rename the uncompressed file so that the main part of the name is no more than 8 characters long and has an extension of ".sav", e.g., sp6542.sav
  • If you downloaded a plain data file you should rename it so that the main part of the name is no more than 8 characters long and has the extension ".txt", e.g., da6542.txt
    This will enable SPSS or SAS to recognize it as a plain ASCII text file.

Off-campus users:
If you have a MyData account at ICPSR and you have logged on to your account from a UGA campus IP address at least once in the previous 6 months then you should have no problems downloading from an off-campus location.

NOTE: Users must continue to log on to their ICPSR MyData account once every six months from a UGA campus IP address to revalidate their MyData account for off-campus downloads. Users who are unable to log on before leaving campus for an extended period of time may contact ICPSR User Support at netmail@icpsr.umich.edu or Sheila Devaney, the Official Representative at UGA. ICPSR staff will verify the user's status with the OR and validate the account for off-campus downloading.



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