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About the Georgetown University Social Sciences Data Archives



The Georgetown University Social Sciences Data Archive (GUSSDA), a project supported by the Research, Curriculum and Development group within University Information Services (UIS), is a system that provides readily accessible high quality ‘real world’ data to faculty and students for their research and teaching purposes.  The mission of the GUSSDA is to collect, preserve and distribute survey, census and other research data of interest to Georgetown community, especially to the social sciences community such as Sociology, Government, Demography, Economics departments, as well as public policy, health care and educational researchers.

Based on CD-Rom and on-line technology, the services of GUSSDA include assisting users to identify data sets of interest, providing the data in the format that the users are familiar with, subsetting or merging the data sets to fit users’ purposes, finding appropriate media to store the requested data and consulting with the users on statistical issues such as sampling, model building, simulation and graphics.  The social sciences community at Georgetown University can use GUSSDA’s services for preparation of thesis or dissertation, publication, classroom instruction and policy development.

The main components of the GUSSDA are:

  • A production center. It is a high-performing PC computer with a CD-ROM writer and enough hard drive space. Standard statistical software, such as SAS and SPSS are used to create customized datasets. Data converting software such as DBCopy is used for converting among different formats.

  • A bank of CD-ROMs to store customized datasets.

  • A Web site comprising data file abstracts, users guides, data request form, services and support, and links to other sites.

Data sets collected in GUSSDA are primarily acquired through the Georgetown membership in the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). ICPSR is an international archive of quantitative data, and is located at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. Other sources for data include MicroCase Data Archive and government agencies such as the National Center for Health Statistics, Bureau of the Census,  and National Center for Education Statistics. 

The GUSSDA also intents to services as a repository site for locally collected data, such as the data sets collected by Psychology or language researchers.