Extracts allow you to download just the data you need for analysis in your own statistical software packages. We’ll create an extract with the variables we’ve already collected in our cart, INCOME and HAPPY.

First, give your extract a name of no more than 140 characters. You can also add a description. This is useful if you plan to share the project with others, or want to add details about the variables or case selections. We’ll call this “Income and Happpiness” and add a description that we are extracting data only for years 2002 to 2012.

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Next, select variables. You can choose from some or all of the variables you’ve added to your cart. You can also return to the Search page to add more variables to your cart. After adding the variables to your extract, select “next.”

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Select the years of data (2002 through 2012) and the file type you’d like to export. Since we plan to use this data in SPSS, we will extract the data as an Excel file and also include the SPSS control file. Now, select the “Create Extract” button and your extract will begin to process. Depending on the size and complexity of your extract, this may take some time.

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While your extract is processing, from your list of extracts page, you will see spinning arrows. You can continue to use other parts of the site while your extract is downloading. Once the extract is complete, the spinning arrows will become a downward pointing arrow, which signifies the extract is ready for download. Select the arrow and the extract will begin to download to your personal machine in the format you selected when creating your extract.

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When you extract data in the Stata format, you will get the following files in a Zip folder, which can be saved to your machine, or opened in Stata: 1) GSS.do – this file contains the Stata command infix. Infix command reads into Stata memory from a dataset that is not in Stata format. Infix requires that the data be in fixed-column format. 2) Gss.dct – this file is a Stata dictionary which contains specifications for how to read in a data text file (GSS.dat). 3) GSS.dat – this file is in ASCII fixed format (a text file.) To download the GSS.dat ASCII file to the Stata memory, you must do the following: a. Save all three files in a desktop folder (C:\Users\...) b. Open the GSS.do file in Stata’s editor and correct the path for the GSS.dat file     (change “using GSS.dat” to “using C:\Users\...\GSS.dat”) c. Run the GSS.do file by highlighting the content of the file in editor and clicking on     Tools -> Execute (do) menu item, or open up Stata and select from the pull down     menu; File -> Do and then click the name of your GSS.do file to run it. d. This will run the commands in the GSS.do file and read the GSS.dat file into Stata.

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When you extract data in the SPSS format, you will get the following files in a Zip folder, which can be saved to your machine, or opened in SPSS:

GSS.dat is a plain text data file. By running GSS.sps, the plain data file becomes an SPSS data file with labels.

You will have to modify GSS.sps to specify where the data file is located. You need to change the first line (DATA LIST FILE=TEMP) to something like this: DATA LIST FILE=”c:\gss\gss.dat” Please note that you have to use quotation marks to specify the file location and the name.

Once you open GSS.sps in an SPSS syntax window and modify the first line to specify the location of GSS.dat, select “Run” in the menu on top and click “All.” This should open your data.

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