The University Record, June 19, 1995
By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services
Social scientists who study elections, public opinion, political participation and other social and political phenomena now have access to nearly five decades of the American National Election Studies (ANES) series on CD-ROM.
For the first time, complete ANES data from 1948 to 1994 is available from one source, bringing together all 22 biennial time-series data collections on a single CD-ROM. Other data collections, such as the 1988-90-92 Senate Election Study and the 1988 Study of the Presidential Nomination Process, also are included.
"With this new product, social scientists will have ready microcomputer access to a wealth of data from the longest-running survey in the social sciences," says political science Prof. Steven Rosenstone, principal investigator for the National Election Studies (NES) at the Center for Political Studies.
The CD-ROM was produced through the collaboration of the NES and the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).
"Building upon tens of thousands of hours of staff time over the last five decades to collect and prepare these survey data files, the ANES CD-ROM project represents the culmination of a massive social science effort to assemble incomparable political and social research resources," says Erik Austin, director of archival development at ICPSR.
"Work to prepare this disc and all of its component files took more than a year and a half and was supported by members of the ICPSR and a subvention from the National Science Foundation. Some dozen staff members of the two organizations were involved in these efforts, which represent cooperative activities at their very best."
In addition to data on elections and voting, the ANES CD-ROM contains nearly five decades of data on such issues as arms control and disarmament, national defense, crime, the death penalty, gun control, civil rights, affirmative action, urban unrest and violence, prayer in schools, abortion, inflation and unemployment, and medical care and health insurance.
Further, Americans' personal predispositions on such topics as satisfaction with their standards of living, trust in government, racial prejudice, religious attitudes and personal economic well-being are found in the ANES collection.
Also included are social and economic attributes, such as occupation and employment status, income, home ownership and other demographic characteristics (age, race, gender, ethnic origin, religious affiliation, educational attainment, family composition).
The National Science Foundation formally established the NES in 1977 as a national resource to sustain and enhance the diversified database that supports basic research on voting, public opinion and political participation in the United States.
Founded in 1962, the ICPSR maintains the world's largest repository of social science data. It promotes and facilitates research and instruction in the social sciences and related areas by acquiring, developing, archiving and disseminating data and documentation for instruction and research and by conducting related instructional programs.
University faculty, staff and students interested in obtaining a copy of the ANES CD-ROM for $30 should download an electronic copy of the order form from the ICPSR Gopher (gopher.icpsr.umich.edu).