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Internet Data Sources for Social Scientists

Data Libraries and Archives

Association of Religion Data Archives
     A wonderful source of survey data on the religious experience in America, although its holdings include many general interest attitude surveys. Most datasets can be downloaded in their entirety. The site provides online analysis (frequencies) of specific questions and a Question Bank feature to save the text of questions you select. A mapping feature shows religion affiliations for counties, metro areas, and states for 1990 and 2000.

Columbia University Electronic Data Service
     Many helpful user guides for standard data products produced by Geolytics, Unicon, Census, IMF, OECD, and others . Step-by-step pages on reading data into SAS, SPSS, and Stata. The guides arranged by topic (finance, health, trade) are useful for even those outside Columbia.

Cornell University

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      bullet National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
          Collects and distributes data to qualified researchers. Sponsors an annual competitive research workshop on using NDACAN datasets. Funded by the Children's Bureau, US Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA)
     Access to datasets focusing on arts issues, such as studies on public participation in and support for the arts and surveys measuring community support for cultural programming. Download datasets or generate summary statistics online. Originally developed with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts and maintained at Princeton University.

Data & Information Service Center, University of Wisconsin
     DISC has helpful links to user guides, "data alert" updates and reported problems with datasets, and links to "what's new" pages of major data providers. Maintains an extensive list of remote links called Crossroads. The monthly DISC News highlights features of high-use datasets (such as CPS and NLS) and lists unusual sources (International Shark Attack File is a winner).

Distributed Data Archive Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
     Source of data for climate and environmental research, much of it longitudinal and all of it free. Datasets reflect state-level and global data-gathering efforts.

Harvard-MIT Data Center
     Supports quantitative and qualitative data and support services to the Harvard/MIT communities. Maintains a collection of data catalogs via its Virtual Data Center Network (VDCN). Its online tutorials and class materials comparing statistical softwares are very informative.

Health and Medical Care Archive
     A data repository reflecting research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Among the areas covered are health care personnel and staffing, health care delivery, chronic illness, and access to health care servcies. HMDA also provides access to selected restricted-use datasets to qualified researchers. As a topical archive within ICPSR, HMDA datasets afford many enhancements of ICPSR datasets such as input programs and references to studies using the datasets.

Minority Data Resource Center
     Maintains and delivers data resources for study of the experiences of members of American racial and ethnic minority groups. Many studies can be explored by using the online analysis feature for selection,extraction, and download. MDRC is one of the ICPSR topical archives.

Murray Research Archive
     Collection emphasis on human development and social change, with a focus on issues important to women and members of under-represented groups. Collections of data for quantitative and quanlitative research, including multimedia resources. Affiliated with the Harvard-MIT Data Center.

National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
     A wide-ranging colleciton of studies related to the aging process and gerontology. Funded by the National Institute on Aging and maintained by ICPSR, the site has many features of other ICPSR topical archives (for example, saving studies to a data cart and online subsetting for selected studies).

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
     Funded by agencies within the Dept. of Justice, which also is the source of the data collections in the archive, and maintained as a topical archive within ICPSR. Supports many ICPSR features, such as saving studies to a data cart and online analysis for selected datasets. The site also features data resource guides that highlight important data collections, provide FAQs, and include additionl links for such topics as homicide, violence against women, and capital punishment.

Princeton University Data and Statistical Services
     Notable for its subject area data guides, recent additions page (which includes dataset developments in addition to new acquisitions), and online guides for statistical software.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive
     SAMHDA provides tools to access and use research data and is supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Servcies Administration ( within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Maintained as part of the ICPSR suite of topical archives, it supports several unique features such as an variable-level discovery and graphical analysis output, in addition to the ability to download datasets in their entirety.


Archives Hub
     A sort of union catalog of archival collections located at UK universities and colleges, including the UK Data Archive at the University of Essex and Edinburgh.

Archivio Dati per le Scienze Sociali
     Repository of economic, social, and electoral data on Italy. Affiliated with the University of Milan, Bicocca.

Arts and Humanities Data Service
     Focus on data resources (those born digital and not) in the fields of archeology, history, language and linguistics, and performing and visual arts. Funding for AHDS as a national service in the UK ceased in early 2008, the site and access to its data continues to be available for the near-term. The AHDS site also provides information on "best practices" in creating and maintaining digial research materials.

Central Archive for Empirical Social Research, University of Cologne
     Datasets on a wide variety of topics. In addition to public opinion surveys, many datafiles constructed retrospectively that are of unique historical interest . Datasets can be ordered at modest cost. A new feature, ZACAT (ZA Online Study Catalogue), allows users to browse, perform simple analyses, and download variables from a selection of datasets. At present, most studies in ZACAT focus on German and comparative election studies, although broader coverage is promised.

Council of European Social Science Data Archives
     A cornsortium of data centers that promotes resource acquisition, archiving, and sharing. The CESSDA Data Protal is exceptional for its ability to provide multilingual access to information on holdings of these data archives. The portal also has the ability to browse, discover, and (in some cases) analyze datasets.

Data Archiving and Networked Services (The Netherlands)
     As the Dutch social science data archive, houses an extensive collection of European surveys. Noteworthy for its collection of retrospective datasets covering economic and trade activity back to the 17th century.

Demographic and Health Surveys Data Archive
     The site distribute the DHS microdata from surveys periodically conducted in over 60 countries on access to health care, HIV/AIDS, fertility, and household wealth.

Israel Social Sciences Data Center
     Houses social, labor, income, and opinion surveys and some administrative data. Most studies limited to member institutions. Data discovery tools available for selected datasets. Affiliated with Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD)
     The ultimate source for locating UK public sector administrative datasets held by the National Archives.

Swedish Social Science Data Service
     Extensive collection of census, administrative, and survey data.

UK Data Archive, University of Essex
     Information on an extensive collection of British social, economic, and health studies.

Lists of Sites

Data Archives and Data Libraries
     Current listings, by country, of national, academic, and public policy data repositories. Especially extensive listings for Canada and the U.S. Compiled by the Data Library Service, University of Toronto.

Databases and Archives
     An international list of data archives and repositories, compiled at McMaster University.

Social Science Data Archives
     An annotated list compiled by the Australian Social Science Data Archive. Links to Australian data archives, international organizations, and statisical agencies and repositories in about 30 countries.