Category Archives: Sociology

Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA)

Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) is a web based interface that allows access and analysis of data. The data can be accessed from IPUMS or from  the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

SDA allows you to:

  • Browse the codebook describing a datasetsda
  • Calculate frequencies or crosstabulation (with charts)
  • Do comparison of means
  • Calculate a correlation matrix
  • Compare correlations
  • Perform multiple regression
  • Perform logit/probit regression
  • List values of individual cases
  • Recode variables (into public work area)
  • Compute a new variable
  • List/delete derived variables
  • Download a customized subset

SDA allows you to analyze data at a level appropriate to your level of experience. SDA can only analyze datasets that reside on an SDA server. If you would like to test drive SDA, or to see if SDA is useful for your research check out their General Information page.

HELP When You Need It

Don't know where to start?                 Need help using the Libraries' collection

New to using statistical software?            What is the best way to handle citations?

Can't find the right GIS mapping tool to complete you assignment?


Check out what the Digital Social Science Center (DSSC) has to offer.

  • Walk in and ask.
    Librarians are available weekdays at  regularly schedule hours throughout the year in the DSSC Consulting Office which is located in the glass-walled area immediately on your right as you enter the main DSSC area, IAB323, on the second floor of Lehman Library.
    Additionally the DSSC Data Service is a space set up for those doing quantitative work or looking for numeric or spatial data. The DSSC Data Service is on the lower level of Lehman, IAB215, and can be reached from the main area of the DSSC by a staircase. It also maintains its own regularly schedule hours throughout the year.
  • Make an appointment.
    Send an email to to request an appointment. Briefly explain what you need and someone will get back in touch. For questions involving numeric or spatial data, statistical software or mapping you can reach the DSSc Data Servic directly at
  • Send an email.
    Use the same steps as a request for an appointment.  If an email contains only your question a librarian will answer by email.
  • Telephone.
    You can reach a librarian in the DSSC Consulting Office, 212-854-8043, or a librarian in the DSSC Data Service, 212-854-6012, during the location's regularly schedule hours.
  • Help yourself.
    The DSSC main page and DSSC Data Services page each gives overviews of the collections they support.
    Check to see if there are any in-library workshops offered by the DSSC (these occur most frequently early in a semester).
    Self-paced online tutorials are available from Software Tutorials for a wide range of softwares or GIS Self-paced Online Courses.

Social Theory Database

Social Theory  features searchable content that explore the complexities and interpret the nature of social behavior and organization by such major theorists as Theodor Adorno, Jean Baudrillard, Simone de Beauvoir, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Émile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Jürgen Habermas, Robert Merton, Dorothy E. Smith , and more.


The Statistical Abstract of the United States

Did you know that West Virginia is ranked #1 among US States in home ownership? Guess which state ranks last?

abstractsSearch the Statistical Abstract of the United States  as a guide to information from the Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many other Federal agencies, and private organizations. Published since 1878, the Abstract is "the authoritative and comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States."


Welcome New Students!

The Lehman Social Sciences Library welcomes the new students in the departments of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology, as well as new students at the School of International and Public Affairs. Lehman is your library. Here’s a quick overview of the resources available:

Check out the Guide to the Libraries (PDF) for more information about the CU Libraries.


Guides to Doing Quantitative Analysis

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is an organization that provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for the social science research community.  As part of its commitment to education it maintains an Online Learning Center (OLC) that supports quantitative literacy in the social sciences.  The OLC is a collection of online learning guides.    Each guide is a stand-alone activity describing a central concept in a social science discipline and testing a relevant research question using real data.  The data-driven guides cover specific topics within Political Science, Sociology and Social Psychology.

The datasets used are from ICPSR’s data archive. Familiarity with a statistical program like SPSS or Stata is not necessary as the datasets all have been enhanced at ICPSR in a way that allows for access and analysis via a web interface called Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA). The SDA system was developed and is maintained by the University of California, Berkeley.

Taking a Quant course and looking for data?

Columbia is a member of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).  ICPSR maintains a data archive of more than 7,000 data studies suitable for use with statistical software.   A wide range of social science topics are covered including: political science, sociology, demography, economics, history, gerontology, criminal justice, public health, foreign policy, terrorism, health and medical care, education, racial and ethnic minorities, psychology, law, substance abuse and mental health, and more.

Studies (and the data files and documentation they contain) can be retrieved by searching for words in:

  • the title and abstract with the ability to filter results by subject, geography, time period, author, and more (this is the search default);
  • a variables database that lists the individual elements within a study (currently cover about 20% of the studies in the archive);
  • the Bibliography of Data-Related Literature, database of describing published articles on research based on a study in the ICPSR collection.

The ICPSR data search options are listed on page

For assistance in finding data from ICPSR or other sources, visit the