ICPSR: A Consortial Model to Advance and Expand Social and Behavioral Research

Jared Lyle


DOI: 10.12685/027.7-2-1-49

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) was founded over 50 years ago "to further the development of research in political science" (Miller 1963:11). Since that summer of 1962, the scope and range of services ICPSR offers has expanded significantly to encompass the wider social and behavioral research community, and from a handful of data collections to thousands. With over 750 consortial members from around the world, ICPSR is now a leader in preserving, curating, and providing access to scientific data so others can reuse the data and validate research findings. Much of the success of ICPSR can be traced back to the consortial model upon which the organization was founded, with members providing funding, input, and a sense of community. This article describes the history and current status of the consortium, and discusses upcoming challenges and opportunities.