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Software for Digital Scholarship

Information about DiSC-supported software for the collection, processing, analysis or display of numeric, text, or geospatial data

SPSS statistical software is now owned by IBM, a previous version was called PASW. SPSS has many different modules, and not all installations have all modules. So, be careful. SPSS is mostly point-and-click, which makes the learning curve low. It does have syntax, which is important to be aware of and keep for reproducibility of analysis. The syntax is laborious, however, and those who can program are likely to prefer using Stata or R.

Access to SPSS

Consider also these Free, Open-Source alternatives:

  • PSPP - intentional look-alike which can do data management and basic statistics
  • Jamovi - R-based interface with familiar features, can do more advanced statistics
  • Blue Sky Statistics - (Windows Only) R-based SPSS-like interface has tons of features


See more about the theory and interpretation of statistical tests in our Data Analysis & Statistics InfoGuide

Quick Reference

Text with Screenshots

Switching to SPSS

Comprehensive Reference

NYU's Quantitative Analysis Guide - Look-up table to choose a statistical test

Links directly to relevant pages in the following useful resources:

  • IBM's Knowledge Base
    • Point-and-click instructions explaining each option in dialog boxes
    • Good for users at any level wanting details
    • Some tutorials have screenshots, but most documentation does not
    • SPSS Tutorials and Support Home
  • Laerd Statistics
    • ~$5 a month; some content free if accessed through searches or links
    • ~100 medium-length articles including both point-and-click and syntax instructions
    • Intended for beginners, but appropriate for all; covers both analysis and data management skills
    • Comprehensive and detailed, covering use, assumptions, setup, output, and write-up in plain language
  • UCLA ATS Statistical Computing-SPSS
    • Text-only syntax instructions demonstrate appropriate analysis and interpretation
    • Resources vary in length from short annotated outputs to long seminar notes
    • Focuses on an intermediate/advanced audience and topics
    • Go to Examples and Annotated Output

Learn to use SPSS

Learn More

  • Karl Wuensch's SPSS Lessons by Karl Wuensch, East Carolina University
    • Dozens of lengthy (10-20pg) Word Documents covering univariate and multivariate analysis
    • Includes theory and interpretation along with setup
    • See also his whole set of Statistics Lessons
  • SPSS Statistics Essential Training from (free through the Mason Libraries)
    • A collection of videos of various lengths totaling almost 5 hrs
    • Covering basic and intermediate tasks and analyses at a slow pace with a follow-along dataset
    • See also SPSS for Academic Research, for T-Tests and ANOVAs

Other Topics

  • SPSS articles and webinars from the Analysis Factor
    • Useful information on various basic and advanced issues and questions, presented in short and friendly chunks
    • See especially SPSS Syntax 101
  • Raynald's SPSS Tools by Raynald Levesque
    • A large collection of syntax chunks and macro examples to accomplish advanced tasks

Handouts from Data Services