Polling the Nations. ORS Publishing. 1986-present. Monthly updates.
Health Poll Search. Kaiser Family Foundation. 1935-present.
Subset of iPOLL
focusing on public opinion questions on health issues.
Location: KFF Web
JPOLL: Japanese Data Archive. Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, 1990-present.
More than 10,000 questions from major Japanese surveys, translated into English.
Location: Roper Center web
2. Collections of Survey Results
Especially useful for older public opinion results, these gather together individual questions or entire survey reports. They are often arranged by time period, geographic region, or general topic. The prolific Gallup Poll publications are the best-represented among these collections.
Bibliographic alert! When citing questions from these collections, always remember that you're using a reprint of the original survey question: you will want to provide bibliographic information on both the original question and the reprint collection.
Population control, a bibliography of survey data, 1938-1970 / Philip K. Hastings, ed. Williamstown, Mass.: Roper Public Opinion Research Center, Williams College, [1970?].
Topically organized listing of all population control questions from approximately 8,000 public opinion surveys from sixty-six countries.
Location: Van Pelt HQ766 .H38
The Gallup/Phi Delta Kappa polls of attitudes toward the public schools, 1969-88 : a 20-year compilation and educational history / Stanley Elam, ed. Bloomington, Ind: Phi Delta Kappa, 1989.
Anthology of polls not included in The Gallup poll (above).
Location: Van Pelt LA217 .G346 1989
A Decade of Gallup polls of attitudes toward education, 1969-1978 / Stanley M. Elam, ed. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa, 1978.
Anthology of polls not included in The Gallup poll (above).
Location: Van Pelt LA217 .D4
The Gallup polls of attitudes toward education, 1969-1973 / Stanley Elam, ed. Bloomington, Ind.: Phi Delta Kappa, 1973.
Location: Van Pelt Reference Stacks LA217 .E378
Sex in the 20th Century, 1943-1992: a compilation of Gallup Poll reports. Princeton, NJ: Gallup Organization, 1993.
Location: Van Pelt HQ18 .U5 S49 1993
AIDS, 1983-1992: a compilation of Gallup Poll reports. Princeton, NJ: Gallup Organization, 1992.
Location: Van Pelt RA644 .A25 A2853 1992
Gallup looks at the movies: audience research reports, 1940-1950 / American Institute of Public Opinion & Scholarly Resources, Inc. 4 microfilm reels. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1979.
Location: Annenberg Microforms Microfilm 67
Religion in America. Princeton: American Institute of Public Opinion or Princeton Religion Research Center. Irregular.
Location: Van Pelt BR526 .R444 (1984-present, latest year in Van Pelt Reference).
3. Major Survey Series (print and electronic)
Some individual survey programs have excellent reputations for longevity, careful construction and reporting. Many of these are supported by web applications that generate frequency distributions and crosstabulations.
General Social Survey. 1972-present. Mostly annual, 1972-1993. Biennial, 1994-present. National Opinion Research Center.
American National Election Studies. 1948-present. Biennial. Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan.
Roper Social and Political Trends Data, 1973-1994. Roper Organization.
Popularly known as "the Bowling Alone
data," from the Robert D. Putnam book. Selected questions from 207 near-monthly public opinion surveys conducted by the Roper Organization and its successors: typically, 12 questions on participation in political and social activities and demographic characteristics.
Location: Quick download of Bowling Alone data set and codebook (via Penn Library Web)
American Public Opinion and United States Foreign Policy Series. Chicago Council on Foreign Relations. 1975-present. Quadrennial.
International Social Survey Programme. 1985-present.
Eurobarometer Survey Series. European Commission. 1974-present. Semiannual.
Cross-national survey program covering all European Union member states. Four main series: Standard Eurobarometer, with core questions and rotating topical modules; Flash Eurobarometer, on special topics or surveying special target groups; Central and Eastern Eurobarometer and Candidate Countries Eurobarometer, covering countries outside the European Community. The Mannheim Eurobarometer Trend File, 1970-1999, presents 100 trend questions asked at least five times in Standard Eurobarometer surveys.
Location: Eurobarometer Interactive Search System (EC Web site)
Location: Quick download of Eurobarometer data (ICPSR via Penn Library Web)
-- includes Mannheim Eurobarometer Trend File, 1970-1999, data set
Nationwide surveys for countries in transition focusing on attitudes toward governance, political participation and democracy, and poverty and prosperity. Actually, a loosely-coordinated group of regional programs: New Europe Barometer (post-communist Eastern Europe), Latinobarometer (Latin America), Afrobarometer (Africa), and Asian Barometer (East Asia and Southeast Asia).
Location: Global Barometers web
Pew Internet and American Life.
Survey program investigating the social effects of the Internet upon Americans. SPSS portable-format data sets are available with PDF-format questionnaires and frequencies documentation.
Location: PIAI data sets
Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
Formerly the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press. Survey center focusing on public attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. Major series is the News Interest Index. Includes Pew Global Attitudes Project cross-national data sets. SPSS portable-format or ASCII text-format data sets with MS Word documentation.
Location: PRCPP data sets
Location: Pew Global Attitudes Project reports
The Penn Library holds paper copies of several important print survey series, mostly for the 1980s and 1990s. Many of these polling organizations and polling sponsors have very strong web archives, too. These include:
Gallup Poll / Gallup Political Index / Gallup Opinion Index / Gallup Report / Gallup Poll Monthly / Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing. Location: Various locations (1965-present)
Harris Survey / Harris Survey. Location: Annenberg Reference HM261 .A22 (1981-present)
Times Mirror News Interest Index. Location: Annenberg Periodicals PN4888 .P82 T564 (1990-1993) [also Los Angeles Times
CBS News/New York Times Poll. Location: Annenberg Periodicals HM261 .C376 (1982-1990)
Business Week/Harris Poll. Location: Annenberg Periodicals HM261 .H22 (1982-?)
ABC News-Harris Survey. Location: Annenberg Periodicals HM261 .A22 (1979-1980)
NORC Report. Location: Van Pelt (selected years)
4. Data Archives for Public Opinion Surveys
These archives provide microdata files -- responses from individual questionnaires -- and related documentation. Several archives may distribute a specific survey: use the data archive you feel most comfortable with, but ALWAYS compare these elements before using any one version:
- Survey beginning and ending date.
- Sponsoring organization and Survey organization.
- Sample universe and Sample size.
- If at all possible, compare the actual questionnaires and codebooks.
Although some archives provide crosstabulation engines, the typical data archive provides a data file in ASCII-text format or SPSS-portable format. Documentation quality may range from PDF-format codebooks and frequency tables to poorly reproduced questionnaires with pencil markup. For help moving from raw data to a statistical software package, see the Data Use Tutorial from ICPSR
or Introduction to Data Handling
from the University of Chicago Data Library.
Roper Center for Public Opinion Research.
The principal archive for public opinion survey data sets, 1936-present. Many data sets are available for download directly from the Roper Center archive through RoperExpress, a feature of the Roper Center catalog. Access to older data sets is mediated through the Penn Library: data sets available for download are linked below; other data sets must be identified through the Roper Center catalog and requested through the Penn Library. All major U.S. polling organizations and polling sponsors are represented in the archive, including Gallup, ICR, Ipsos, PSRI, RoperASW, Wirthlin Worldwide, Yankelovich Partners; ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, New York Times, Time, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post; Kaiser Family Foundation, Pew Center for the People and the Press; and academic research centers. Hyperlinks from the iPOLL question database to Roper Center catalog indicate availability.
Location: Roper data sets currently available for download (Penn Library Web)
Location: Roper Center catalog / RoperExpress
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.
The principal scholarly social science data archive, with commercial public opinion polls recently appearing. In general, ICPSR's U.S. poll collection is weaker than the Roper Center's but more easily obtained. Polling organizations represented include: ABC News, CBS News, New York Times, Washington Post. ICPSR archives the Eurobarometer series and the ISSP. Hyperlinks from SSVD question database and to crosstabulation engine for selected studies.
Location: ICPSR data sets
Odum Institute Data Archive. University of North Carolina.
The oldest U.S. data archive. Publicly-available poll data sets from the Harris Polls, the National Network of State Polls, and the Southern Focus Polls. Hyperlinks from the Public Opinion Poll Question Database.
Location: Odum Institute Data Archive
Social Science Electronic Data Library. Sociometrics.
A relatively small collection of health-related studies from academic and government producers. Hyperlinks from the SSEDL variables database and to MIDAS crosstabulation engine.
Location: SSEDL web site
American Religion Data Archive.
Specializes in studies of public opinions on religion and public opinion within religious groups. Major polling organizations are represented, as well as academic producers and research centers. Includes a questions database and a crosstabulation engine.
Location: ARDA web site
Cultural Policy and the Arts National Data Archive.
Specializes in studies on artists, arts and cultural organizations, arts funding, arts education, the arts and economic development, public participation in the arts, attitudes towards the arts, and other topics relevant to cultural policy-making. Includes a questions database and a crosstabulation engine.
Location: CPANDA web site
5. Survey Indexes and Bibliographies
The annotated bibliography of international programme evaluation / Craig Russon and Karen Russon. Boston: Kluwer Academic, 2000.
Location: Van Pelt Reference: H62 .A56 2000
A bibliography of social surveys; reports of fact-finding studies made as a basis for social action / Allen Eaton. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1930.
Identifies 2,775 general social surveys and social surveys in specialized fields, mostly conducted in the U.S. and published in 1901-1928, arranged by topic with a geographical index. Also provides a bibliography of publications on survey purpose, methods, and standards.
Location: Van Pelt HN29 .E27 1930
NORC bibliography of publications, 1941-1991: a fifty year cumulation / Patrick Bova and Michael Preston Worley. Chicago: National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, 1991.
Location: Van Pelt H85 .B683 1991
Opinion research, surveys, and polls : a selected resource list / Michael W. Kolakowski, Jo-Ellen Vernali-Knoerl. [Washington, DC?: s.n.], 1983.
Location: Annenberg Reference HM90 .P8 K6 1983
Surveys, polls, censuses, and forecasts directory. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, 1983- .
Location: Annenberg Reference HA203 .S878 (1983 only)
Attitudes of the poor and attitudes toward the poor: an annotated bibliography
/ Colin Cameron, comp. [Madison]: Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin-Madison, . supplement 1
Location: Van Pelt Z7164.U5 C34 (with supplement, 1977)
Survey data for trend analysis: an index to repeated questions in U.S. National surveys held by the Roper Public Opinion Research Center / Philip K. Hastings et al., eds. [Williamstown, Mass.]: Roper Public Opinion Research Center in cooperation with the Social Science Research Council [1975?].
Location: Van Pelt HN29 .W54 and Annenberg Microfiche
An inventory of surveys of the public on crime, justice and related topics / Albert D. Biderman et al. Washington: National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, 1972.
Location: Van Pelt Z5118 .C9 I58
An analytic index of survey research in Egypt / Madiha El Safty et al., comp. (Cairo papers in social science, v.8, monographs 1 and 2) Cairo: American University in Cairo, 1985.
Location: Van Pelt HN 786 .A85 E5 1985
Survey research in the Arab world: an analytical index / Monte Palmer et al. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1982.
Location: Van Pelt HN 766 .A8 S94 1982
United States Information Agency report and data set listing. 2 vols. Williamstown, Mass.: Roper Public Opinion Research Center, 1968.
Describes polls conducted in foreign countries commissioned by US AID.
Location: Van Pelt Z7204 .S67 W52
6. Dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks on public opinion research
20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results / Sheldon R. Gawiser and G. Evans Witt. 3rd ed. National Council on Public Polls.
Handy guide to interpreting public opinion surveys. The NCPP provides professional guidance to polling organizations and interpretive assistance to the public. The NCPP web site also provides "Answers to questions we often hear from the public," Polling Review Board findings, and other useful material.
Location: NCPP web
Statistics: Polls: What Do Numbers Tell Us? Annenberg Foundation and Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Dictionary of polling: the language of contemporary opinion research / Michael L. Young. New York: Greenwood Press, 1992.
Location: Annenberg Reference HM261 .Y684 1992
The voter's guide to election polls / Michael W. Traugott and Paul J. Lavrakas. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004.
Covers basic questions on public opinion polling relating to elections. Earlier editions (1996 and 2000) are also availabe at the same call number.
Location: Van Pelt HN90.P8 T73 2004
The survey kit. 2nd ed. 10 vols. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2003.
Comprehensive collection on survey design, administration, analysis, and reporting.
Location: Van Pelt HN29 .S724 2003
The survey research handbook / Pamela L. Alreck and Robert B. Settle. 3rd ed. (McGraw-Hill/Irwin series in marketing.) Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2004.
First ed. (1985) also available.
Location: Van Pelt HN29 .A46 2004
Sage university papers series. Quantitative applications in the social sciences.
Thousand Oaks, Calif. and other locations, Sage Publications.
This very handy series of vademecums includes several titles relevant to public opinion survey design, conduct, and analysis. See for instance:
Location: Franklin search for Penn Library QASS holdings
- no. 07-133. Translating questionnaires and other research instruments: problems and solutions / Orlando Behling, Kenneth S. Law. 2000. Location: Van Pelt HM537 .B44 2000
- no. 07-115. Analyzing repeated surveys / Glenn Firebaugh. 1997. Location: Van Pelt HN29 .F54 1997
- no. 85. Processing data: the survey example / Linda B. Bourque and Virginia A. Clark. 1992. Location: Van Pelt H61.3 .B68 1992
- no. 80. Computer-assisted interviewing / Willem E. Saris. 1991. Location: Van Pelt H61.28 .S27 1991
- no. 07-063. Survey questions: handcrafting the standardized questionnaire / Jean M. Converse and Stanley Presser. 1986. Location: Annenberg Reserve and Van Pelt HN29 .C66 1986
Wiley series in survey methodology. Hoboken, NJ: J. Wiley.
Marketing know-how: your guide to the best marketing tools and sources / Peter K. Francese. Ithaca, NY: American Demographics Books, 1998.
Location: Lippincott HF5415.2 .F72 1998
The encyclopedia of propaganda / Robert Cole, ed. 3 vols. Armonk, NY: Sharpe Reference, 1998.
Location: Van Pelt Reference HM263 .E53 1998
Public opinion polling: a handbook for public interest and citizen advocacy groups / Celinda C. Lake with Pat Callbeck Harper [for the] Montana Alliance for Progressive Policy. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1987.
Location: Van Pelt and Storage HM261 .L18 1987
Survey research methodology, 1990-1999: an annotated bibliography / Graham R. Walden. (Bibliographies and indexes in law and political science, no. 28) Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002.
Location: Van Pelt HM538 .W35 2002
Public opinion polls and survey research : a selective annotated bibliography of U.S. guides and studies from the 1980s / Graham R. Walden. (Public affairs and administration series. 24) New York: Garland Pub., 1990.
Location: Van Pelt HM261 .W34 1990
Polling and survey research methods, 1935-1979: an annotated bibliography / Graham R. Walden, comp. (Bibliographies and indexes in law and political science, no. 25.) Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996.
Location: Annenberg Reference, Van Pelt HM261 .W35 1996
The insider's guide to demographic know-how: everything marketers need to know about how to find, analyze, and use information about their customers / Penelope Wickham. Ithaca, NY: American Demographics Press, 1988.
Location: Lippincott Reference HF5415.2 .I535 1988
Public opinion polls; a selected research bibliography / Prakash C. Sharma. (Council of Planning Librarians. Exchange bibliography, v. 757) Monticello, Ill: CPL, 1975.
Location: Storage Z5942 .C68 no. 757
Indexes to survey methodology literature.. Washington, DC: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1974.
Location: Lippincott Reference Z7164 .S667 U5 1974
Handbook of survey research / Peter H. Rossi et al., eds. New York: Academic Press, 1983.
Location: Annenberg Reserve and Van Pelt HN29 .H294 1983
Interviewer's manual. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Survey Research Center, University of Michigan, 1969.
Location: Van Pelt HN29 .M49
Public opinion, mass behavior, and political psychology, an annotated and intensively indexed compilation of significant books, pamphlets, and articles / Alfred de Grazia et al., eds. (Universal Reference System. Political science, government and public policy series, v. 6) Princeton, NJ: Princeton Research Pub. Co., 1969.
Location: Storage Z6461 .U66 v.6
Collecting sensitive data by randomized response: an annotated bibliography / Wayne W. Daniel. 2nd ed. Atlanta, Ga.: Georgia State Univ. Business Press, 1993.
Location: Van Pelt HA31.2 .D36 1993
Cornell University Guide to Public Opinion Surveys
A nice guide listing sources for local, national and international polls. Largely overlaps the contents of this guide with a focus on more broadly describing each poll source.
Yale University Library Public Opinion Subject Guide
A large guide, like this one. Gives good information on moving from Question Database to Survey Data for the various question databses. References to StatCat only work for members of the Yale community.