Introduction to Investigator

Introduction to Investigator

Investigator is a web-based search and extraction program for data from the National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS). This guide will help you search for, identify, and download NLS variables of interest, along with programs that allow you to create SAS, SPSS, and STATA data sets. Note that this is the beta version of the guide and additional improvements are anticipated.

To help new users understand Investigator, a glossary of terms that will be found throughout this guide can be found HERE.

Advantages of Investigator

The Investigator is designed to make finding variables as easy and fast as possible. Key features include the following:

  • Variables are provided in three levels (primary, secondary, and tertiary), allowing researchers to decide the level of detail needed. Researchers can access all data by selecting "All Variables."
  • Convenient search options include the ability to search for anything on a codebook page by simply typing in some or all of the letters and/or numbers wanted.
  • Graphical formats (pie, bar or line chart) are available on the codebook page.
  • "Basic download" function automatically includes the more popular options to speed up extractions.
  • Popup codebook pages can be viewed simply by moving the cursor over the question name.

IMPORTANT: Do not attempt to download an entire NLS dataset. The datasets are extremely large and will likely impede the performance of your computer. Click here for more information on why downloading the entire data set is not a good idea.


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