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FAQ

Please use the following drop down categories to review our collection of Frequently Asked Questions. If you can’t find an answer to your question, please contact us.

  • Datasets

  • The documentation for a given survey usually gives basic information on sampling procedures. Working with data contributors, the Center is currently enhancing efforts to provide more complete methodological details. Please contact Data Services for additional information

  • Guidelines for bringing Roper Center ASCII data files into SPSS are provided at ASCII-to-SPSS where Roper members have the opportunity to download sample SPSS syntax files with their corresponding datasets and codebooks.

    For more information go to Bring ASCII Data into SPSS

  • Guidelines for bringing Roper Center ASCII data files into Stata are provided at ASCII-to-STATA where Roper members have the opportunity to download sample Stata do files with their corresponding datasets and codebooks.

    For more information and detail go to Bring ASCII Data into Stata

  • An individual who is part of a member institution can access datasets through the website. The datasets are available for immediate download for members who are signed into their personalized accounts.

    For non-members, datasets may be ordered by contacting Data Services and providing the complete dataset title from the abstract, including study number (e.g., Pew Research Center: India Winter 2014 Survey [INPEW2013-12]).  Datasets are delivered via password-protected direct download.

  • The Roper Center archives datasets from thousands of public opinion surveys based on a variety of samples including adult populations of numerous countries and sub-national regions (states, provinces, etc.) as well as other special populations.

    For surveys with U.S. national adult or major subpopulation samples (such as registered voters, women, or African Americans), iPOLL can be used as the primary finding aid to locate datasets on particular topics or for specific time periods. For state, foreign, and other special samples, the Search for Datasets tool should be used to locate datasets by searching for keywords that would be found in the abstract of the surveys, interview dates, country, survey organization, or type of sample.

    Once datasets are located, members can download the data. Non-members should contact Data Services for a cost quotation.

  • Non-members are welcome to order data from the Roper Center. Capture the dataset(s) title and archive number (e.g., NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll: Barack Obama/Economy [USNBCWSJ2010-9500]) and forward it to Data Services for a price quote. For more information on the price of datasets for non-members visit

  • It is likely you are looking at the last version of the feed your computer cached/saved. To get the latest information merely click your browser’s refresh button (or using the browser menu, select “view” and “refresh”).

  • Most datasets from before the 1990s are ASCII (“raw data”) format. Many more recent datasets are SPSS portable files. Some older, particularly non-US studies are in column-binary formats. Center staff will convert these to more contemporary formats (ASCII or SPSS) for members upon request.

    Definition of Data File Extensions:
    The dataset file extensions used by the Roper Center

    .csv   CSV file that can be opened with Excel
    .por   SPSS portable data file
    .sav   SPSS data file
    .sps   SPSS system file
    .dat   ASCII data file (Bring into SPSS, Stata)
    .do   Stata command file
    .dct   Stata dictionary file
    .dta   Stata system file
    .vxref   Variable Cross-Reference file
    .zip   Zip file
  • The individual-level results of a survey, conceptualized as a table or “matrix.” The rows contain values for each individual’s coded responses to the questions asked (contained in the columns.)

    Datasets consist of all of the information gathered during a survey which needs to be analyzed. Learning how to interpret the results is a key component to the survey process.

    • *   The individual-level results of a survey, conceptualized as a table or “matrix.” The rows contain values for each individual’s coded responses to the questions asked (contained in the columns.)
    • *   Statistical software is necessary to define, manipulate, and extract variables and cases within data files.
    • *   Small data files may also be analyzed within spreadsheet software such as Excel.
  • “Field Dates” reflect the dates on which the survey was undertaken by the survey organization. “Release Date” is the date the survey organization made the results available to the public. “Posted Date” is the date the survey was entered into the iPOLL Databank.

    The iPOLL database is a unique, rich data source for US public opinion questions and answers. Easily search questions by keywords, topics, dates, and survey firm and immediately locate results on important issues facing the country. Filtering tools permit researchers to refine search results to hone in on the most relevant material. Demographic breaks are available for many questions via iPOLL Plus.

    Head with the iPOLL logo inside it

    Five Characteristics to Describe iPOLL —

    • Collections               Every major polling Organization in the country
    • Comprehensive       650,000 Questions & Answers from 1935 through last week
    • Compelling              Trends and Demographic analysis just a click away
    • Coverage                 Topical data asked on every Public Policy Issue
    • Current                     Updated Daily from officially reported results


    To conduct more intricate data analysis, full Members link directly from the iPOLL question results to the complete dataset files ready for download or, for surveys conducted over the last decade, run basic tables without programming using the online analysis tool, RoperExplorer.

  • For questions pertaining to exit poll data, contact Data Services.

  • Exit Polls

  • It is no longer necessary to apply for access to the Exit Polls.

  • Yes, the Roper Center offers some  historical Exit Polls from Mexico.

  • Additional information is available from Edison Research at this page.

  • Roper’s collection dates back to the very first Exit Poll, conducted by CBS News in 1972. Exit Polls were conducted in U.S. national presidential election from 1972-1980. The first Exit Polls in a midterm election were fielded in 1982.

  • The 2014 and 2016 primary datasets are available in SPSS, Stata, and .csv formats.

  • Complete lists of state primary Exit Polls and state national election Exit Polls are available.

  • The U.S. Exit Polls are conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool (NEP), a consortium of major media organizations.

  • All states are represented in each year’s national Election Day poll. The NEP determines which states will be included in the primary and Election Day state-level polling.

  • Yes! NEP will send this data as soon as they are able. If you would like to be alerted when these polls become available, please email Data Services.

  • General

  • No, the Roper Center does not conduct surveys; it is a library of survey data collected by others who graciously permit the Center to archive and make their findings available to a broader research community.

  • Email your questions or problems to Support

  • Both the Roper Center and ICPSR provide access to social science data. The Roper Center focuses on public opinion data primarily collected by commercial and media survey organizations, while ICPSR archives broader based social science data from academic or government sources. Public opinion data is a small portion of the ICPSR collection and overlaps only slightly with the Roper Center’s collection of polls.

  • You can use iPOLL and documentation to Roper Center data to get ideas about how to ask questions. However, the Roper Center does not conduct surveys or provide detailed advice on survey design.

    To learn more about the relationships among and between questions or variables, researchers require access to digital data files or datasets. A dataset contains every respondent’s answers to each question and variable on the survey in a format that permits statistical testing of causal relationships, and bivariate and mutlivariate crosstabulations.  Roper Center dataset files are available in ASCII and SPSS. RoperExpress service provides access to the Center’s digital data files on demand, including complete documentation with questionnaires, codes, methodological reports, and more.

    • *  On-demand, direct download of datasets in modern formats
    • *  No limit to the number of studies that may be accessed
    • *  Datasets available from the earliest polls of 1935 to present
    • *  Surveys conducted in the US and around the globe


    Access datasets from within iPOLL or from a search of study abstracts located in the dataset databank.  Several datasets are also available!

  • No, the Roper Center does not conduct surveys. There is commercial survey firm by the name of Roper Public Affairs that conducts surveys and with whom we share founding fathers, but has nothing to do with the Roper Center archives. It’s likely that is the firm that is contacting you to complete one of their polls.

  • There is no connection today between the non-profit Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University and the for-profit Roper Poll owned by GfK Group.  Public opinion pioneer Elmo Roper founded both organizations, but they are completely separate entities.

  • Monday through Friday from 8:00 am-5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

  • iPOLL Questions

  • Non-probability based internet surveys are not included in iPOLL. The methodology involved in internet polling is still a subject of contentious debate among survey professionals. We do have the results of probability based Internet surveys at the Roper Center, such as Gfk KnowlegeNetworks and NORC AmeriSpeak.

  • Member university faculty and students may access Roper Center resources while off campus by logging into the proxy server or Virtual Private Network (VPN) typically available through your university library.  If you have created a personalized account you can access all services directly from anywhere.

    See if your university is currently a member of the Roper Center by visiting List of Members. If you are still unsure of your university’s status, email data-services-requests@roper.center.

  • To retrieve all questions from an entire survey, regardless of when the questions were published, simply search for the survey organization using the organization pull-down menu and the beginning interview date using the date boxes on the search form. It is important to note that the date criteria used on the search form searches on the FIRST date of the interview period.

  • Publications based on data acquired via Roper Center access services should cite the Roper Center in the standard format outlined here. Proper citation ensures that source information is available for use by future researchers.

    Researchers publishing analytical pieces using data obtained from the Roper Center are also encouraged to provide the Center with a copy of the work or its citation information for inclusion in the “Bibliography of publications using data from the Roper Center.” Citations can be submitted by email at data-services-requests@roper.center or by sending them to:

    The Roper Center
    Cornell University
    136 Hoy Road
    Rhodes Hall, Room 651
    Ithaca, NY 14853-3801

    General Citation Format

    Authorship. Title [material designator]. Unique identifier, Version. Producer [producer]. Location of distributor: Name of distributor [distributor]. Access date.

    Where to Find Citations

    Find citations for Roper Center datasets on the Dataset Abstract page in RoperExpress:

    How to cite a dataset

    Find citations for survey questions under the topline results by clicking “View Citation” in iPOLL:

    How to cite an iPOLL question

    Disclaimer

    Files are offered “as is” with no warranty or claim for fitness for any purpose. In no event shall the Center be liable for any actual, incidental, or consequential damages arising from use of these files.

  • Like Search for Datasets, iPOLL can help you identify U.S. datasets that are rich in specific subject areas. However, because iPOLL provides the text and topline responses for all the questions, it makes selecting datasets easier and offers an appropriate context in which to review data, by comparing various questions and sources on the same topic and trend lines. Questions in iPOLL are linked to the Catalog study descriptions and often the questionnaires.

  • iPOLL search results are sorted by the most recent “Beginning Field Date” therefore on occasion you may see something seemingly out of order.

  • iPOLL is the most comprehensive, up-to-date source for US nationwide public opinion available today. A full-text retrieval system, the iPOLL online database is organized at the question-level. The system allows for users to sift through over 700,000 questions archived from national public opinion surveys since 1935. The database is updated daily.

    The iPOLL database is a unique, rich data source for US public opinion questions and answers. Easily search questions by keywords, topics, dates, and survey firm and immediately locate results on important issues facing the country. Filtering tools permit researchers to refine search results to hone in on the most relevant material. Demographic breaks are available for many questions

    Five Characteristics Describe iPOLL —

    Collections   Every major polling organization in the country
    Comprehensive     700,000+ Questions & Answers from 1935 through last week
    Compelling   Trends and Demographic analysis just a click away
    Coverage   Topical data asked on every Public Policy Issue
    Current   Updated Daily from officially reported results

     

    To conduct more intricate data analysis, full Members link directly from the iPOLL question results to the complete dataset files ready for download..

  • The Search for Datasets includes only those surveys for which the Roper Center holds the datasets (microdata or individual level), with brief descriptions of each. These include national, state, and foreign surveys, as well as special samples such as leaders or youth. iPOLL contains the aggregated question-level results from the US national surveys in the catalog, as well as a great deal of additional survey data from news releases and survey reports.

  • iPOLL includes data survey results from academic, commercial and media survey organizations such as ABC News, the Gallup Organization, Pew Research Centers, Kaiser Family Foundation, and many more. The data come from all the surveys in the Roper Center archive that have US national adult samples or samples of registered voters, women, African Americans, or any subpopulation that constitutes a large segment of the national adult population. iPOLL does not include state samples or non-US samples (see Catalog of Holdings/Search for Datasets), however, surveys of these populations are available from the Roper Center.

  • iPOLL Plus includes not only how the full sample responded to the question, but also some standard demographic groups replied.  The groups likely to be included are men, women, those who identify themselves as Republicans, Democrats or independents, and those of different regions, ages, incomes, or educational backgrounds.

  • Some iPOLL questions include not only how the full sample responded to the question, but also how some standard demographic groups replied.  Demographics include: age, gender, party ID, ideology, region, income, race/ethnicity and education.

  • There are a couple of explanations for this:

    1.  The demographic information in iPOLL questions is the latest enhancement to iPOLL, and therefore the 150,000 questions available in this format are from surveys archived with the Center over the last fifteen years. Staff are working back in time to earlier datasets and continuing to process the most current studies in this form.


    2.  In order to provide the group data, the Center has to have archived the dataset file, about 35% of the questions in iPOLL are from surveys that are not archived at the Roper Center.

  • Membership

  • Faculty and students at Member institutions have Unlimited Access to those datasets in the Roper Center collection that are in ASCII or SPSS portable formats. Simply conduct a search for datasets and the studies accessible for immediate download.  If a study is not marked you can request that it be made available using the email link provided.

    Materials can be downloaded as a whole with a zip file, or as individual materials in varying formats (depending on what is available for that study.  Some formats may include, ASCII, SPSS, Word, PDF, etc.

  • We encourage departments to pool their resources for membership. Frequently, the library of a college or university will hold the membership and serve the entire institution.

  • No, you do not need to have a membership to access our data.

    Some datasets are available for free under the Featured Collections and Classroom Materials pages of our web site.

    We also offer research services and sell individual datasets. Rates for service are available here.

    Study/Dataset details may be viewed without a membership, but questions and their results and dataset downloads are only available to members.

  • You can call Customer Services at (607)255-8129, or visit the List of Members page within this site. If your organization is not listed there, it does not have a membership at this time.  Consider recommending a trial membership to your library.  You can contact Membership for more information.

  • Non-members are welcome to order data from the Roper Center. Capture the dataset(s) title and archive number (e.g., NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll: Barack Obama/Economy [USNBCWSJ2010-9500]) and forward it to Data Services for a price quote. For more information on the price of datasets for non-members visit

  • In terms of pricing Roper Center membership, Doctoral Extensive refers to institutions which grant more than 50 PhDs per year in the social sciences, or other fields that use public opinion data. Doctoral Intensive institutions would be those which grant 50 or fewer PhDs per year.

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