New Odesi logo, pink bar graph.

What is Odesi?

Odesi is a Canadian social science data repository and online analysis tool. The service contains over 5,700 datasets curated by university libraries. 

Odesi provides open and enhanced access to a variety of data collections such as Statistics Canada’s Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) public use microdata, historical datasets, and Canadian public opinion polls, including the Gallup Canada, IPSOS Canada, and the Canadian Opinion Research Archive (CORA)

Datasets are curated and described by staff at Canadian academic libraries using the Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) metadata standard. 


Odesi’s History

Odesi was launched in 2009 by the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) and could not exist without past and current contributions from OCUL libraries. 

The following institutions have contributed to Odesi’s development throughout the years:

  • Carleton University
  • University of Guelph 
  • Queen’s University 
  • Windsor University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Western University
  • Laurentian University
  • University of Ottawa 
  • University of Toronto
  • McMaster University 
  • Toronto Metropolitan University

Odesi is maintained by OCUL Scholars Portal the Odesi Markit! Program.  

The Odesi Markit! Program is a collective of individuals from OCUL libraries who maintain the Odesi data collections and repository. The Markit! Program team – which includes hired students from OCUL institutions – is responsible for marking up and adding DDI metadata to Odesi datasets. Markit! is funded by OCUL, and the project helps to facilitate knowledge sharing, accessible data, DDI best practices, and collaborative data management practices. 


Data in Odesi

Odesi Collections:

Statistics Canada Data Liberation Initiative (DLI) This collection includes individual-level public use microdata and aggregate data that help better understand Canada, its population, resources, economy, society, and culture.
Borealis Supported by Canadian academic libraries and institutions, this repository contains research data and related data collections.
Canadian Opinion Research Archive (CORA) CORA provides access to commercial and independent public opinion polls and surveys to the academic, research, and journalistic communities.
Census of Canada The Census is a detailed statistical portrait of Canada and its people, including demographic, social, and economic characteristics. Odesi hosts historical and contemporary census data for open reuse. 
Canadian Public Opinion Polls This collection contains polls from organizations such as Gallup Canada, Ipsos, Forum, Angus Reid, Leger, and more.
Canadian National Topographic System (NTS) Maps, Data & GIS Historical topographic maps of Canada include the National Topographic System (NTS) map series. These maps depict in detail ground relief (landforms and terrain), drainage (lakes and rivers), forest cover, administrative areas, populated areas, transportation routes and facilities (including roads and railways), and other man-made features.

Partnered Collections: 

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) ICPSR maintains and provides access to a vast archive of social science data for research and instruction. Please note that this collection contains metadata-only, and ICPSR requires an institutional membership for access.
Canadian Research Data Centers (CRDC) CRDCs contain restricted access master file microdata that can be used to investigate a variety of socio-economic topics. Application required. Odesi contains the metadata only. 


Access to Odesi

Odesi is available openly for anyone to search and use. Some data collections are provided as open data, please always refer to the licensing terms and conditions for each dataset.  Researchers may contact their library for support to get help with using Odesi and other data resources.

This guide will explain how to use Odesi to search, explore, and download data for use in research, teaching, analysis, and citing data in a research publication.