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CISER Data Archive

Explanation of the Search Fields


Each study is assigned a title that is usually derived from the documentation or other print information.  This title may include descriptive words indicating content, geographic focus, chronological year(s) of coverage, source of information, major sponsor, and sequence numbers.


The abstract field contains a brief summary of a research study. It includes the research focus and a description of what kind of data were collected.

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator is the person, persons, or agency responsible for the dataset's intellectual content or for initiating the study.


The producer field contains information similar to the publisher of a book.    The producer is the person or agency with financial or administrative responsibility for the physical processes of creating the data file. The producer field includes the place of production, the name of the person or agency, and, when known, the date of production.

ICPSR Number

Many of the files in the Data Archive have been acquired through Cornell's membership in the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. If we obtained the data from ICPSR, you can use the ICPSR-assigned study number to search for the study.

CISER Codebook Number

The Data Archive assigns its own codebook numbers for each study or group of studies that use the same documentation. These "numbers" consist of a mnemonic for broad subject categories (e.g. ED for Education) and a number. You can browse a list of subject categories and codebook mnemonics to become familiar with our classification system.

Explanation of the Search Results

Bibliographic Citation

This contains basic information about the name and authorship of each study and includes title, edition, principal investigator, producer, ICPSR study number, and CISER codebook or CD-ROM number.  The citation may include a a  distributor statement, the agency from which CISER obtained the data. [Where the producer and distributor are the same, there is no distributor statement.]   In addition,  there may be technical notes regarding the source of the data, special structures, potential problems with using the files, or restrictions on their use.

File Information

Each study in our collection is composed of one or more files.  This includes the title of the study and information about each file:

  • a brief title for each file
  • the year or years covered by that file within the study
  • the file name, including the full path name of the directory in which it is located
  • the type of file;  for example:  data, codebook, file layout, SAS or SPSS program statements
  • the record length of the longest record in the file (LRECL)
  • the record format:  constant- or variable-length records,
  • the number of records in the file
  • the size of the file (compressed and uncompressed)