WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services)

Description     Issues or Changes     Access & Installation     Support     WRDS Newsletter


Wharton Research Data Services, or WRDS, is an Internet-based business data research service from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Developed in 1993 to support faculty research at Wharton, the service has since evolved to include over 100 institutions. 

WRDS provides access to COMPUSTAT, CRSP, IBES/First Call, and other important business research databases in a manner that gives universities several key benefits: 

Outsourced Data Management
  • The Wharton Computing staff receives the data directly from providers and posts the data to our system in SAS data sets. The data is warehoused at Wharton and access is provided to subscribers over the Internet. 

Access to Multiple Data Sources Simultaneously
  • WRDS provides a common interface to a variety of databases. The information is easily retrievable over the Internet--anytime, anywhere--via point-and-click web query pages, SAS/PC Connect, or a secure shell (SSH) log-in session, whichever method best suits your needs. 

Professional Technical and Research Support
    .WRDS staff of doctoral-level research specialists is available to you on-line. They can assist you with difficulties pertaining to database access, data queries, and programming in SAS, FORTRAN, or C.
    WRDS Terms of Use    
    • Your use of the WRDS services is for academic and non-commercial research purposes only. Your use of the WRDS services is governed by and restricted under the Subscription Agreement between your host university or institution (the "Subscriber") and Wharton Research Data Services. You may not use data downloaded from the WRDS database for any non-academic or commercial endeavor.

    • Your access to the WRDS database is governed by the Subscription Agreement between the Subscriber and Wharton Research Data Services. Individual WRDS accounts are offered to standing faculty and full-time research staff at Subscriber institutions. Access and individual accounts for research assistants, visiting scholars and other non-permanent faculty is offered at Wharton Research Data Service's discretion. Access by other types of students is limited to class accounts, in-library use accounts, and special IP authenticated services as provided by Wharton Research Data Services.

    • You must protect the confidentiality of your WRDS username and password. You may not reveal, disclose, transfer or share your username and password with anyone, including without limitation a co-author or other collaborator.

    • You must notify Wharton Research Data Services within thirty (30) days of any changes in your affiliation with the Subscriber institution, including without limitation if you leave your current university or institution or change your affiliation in any manner. IF YOU ARE NO LONGER EMPLOYED AT A UNIVERSITY OR INSTITUTION THAT SUBSCRIBES TO WRDS, YOU MAY NOT ACCESS OR USE THE WRDS SERVICES. If your new university or institution is a then-current WRDS subscriber, Wharton Research Data Services will transfer your account and files to your new university's or institution's account. Your use and access to the WRDS services will then be subject to these Terms of Use and the Subscription Agreement between your new university or institution and Wharton Research Data Services. If your new university of institution is not a then-current WRDS subscriber, then you may not access or use the WRDS services.

  • Your university or institution may place additional restrictions on your use of and access to the WRDS services. You must learn about and honor restrictions your university or institution may place on users of the WRDS services and any use of the licensed data that is accessed through the WRDS services.
    • Your rights to access and/or use the WRDS services is subject to immediate suspension if there is any evidence of the misuse of your WRDS services account or username or password.

  • To the extent there is any conflict between these Terms of Use and the Subscription Agreement governing your access and use of the WRDS services, the terms of the Subscription Agreement shall govern.

Data Year

  • WRDS provides access interface only. Data availability is limited to our current database subscription with the individual provider. 

Update Schedule    

  • Database update schedule is based on our current license agreements with the various providers. For details please visit our Data Update Frequency page.

Databases Available 

    Below is a list of the databases available via WRDS (based on our data subscription): 
   Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP):
  • Government Bonds
  • Indices/Portfolio Assignments
  • CRSP/Compustat Merged Database
   Standard and Poor's Compustat: 
  • Industrial, Full Coverage and Research
  • Canadian Industrial
  • Business Industry Segments
  • Business Geographic Segments
  • Price, Dividends, and Earnings
  • Bank
  • Executive Compensation
   Standard and Poor's Global:
  • Industrial/Commercial  
  • Financial Services
  • Issues
  • Currency
   Standard and Poor's Credit Ratings:  
  • Short/Long term Corporate/Commercial bonds
   First Call 
  • Analyst Estimates
   Institutional Brokers Estimate System (I/B/E/S):
  • Detail and Summary History
  • Summary History
   RiskMetrics (formerly IRRC):
  • Governance Data
  • Directors Data
   Thomson Reuters:
  • Mutual Fund Holdings  
  • Institutional Holdings
   Audit Analytics:    
  • Current Auditors  
  • Audit fees
  • Social Ratings
   Access to the following databases is free for all subscribers:
  • Bank Regulatory Database
  • Blockholders
  • CBOE Indexes
  • Direct Marketing Educational Foundation(DMEF)
  • Dow Jones Averages
  • Fama-French ("Research") Portfolios and Factors
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Federal Reserve Bank Reports
  • Foreign Exchange Rates
  • PHLX
  • Penn World Tables
  • SEC Disclosure of Order Execution

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Issues or Changes

    It is imperative for you to contact the research group immediately if you intend to use WRDS services so an individual log-in account can be created for you. Please contact the research group for further assistance. 

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Access & Installation

An account with username and password authorization is required before you can access WRDS services. You can request a user account at: http://wrds-web.wharton.upenn.edu/wrds/ 
WRDS may be accessed either through a web interface WRDS (members login) or a UNIX login session. Please note that a secure shell "SSH" program is required for accessing the UNIX system. 
Web Interface:
  • To access WRDS via the Web, begin by pointing your browser http://wrds-web.wharton.upenn.edu. The WRDS web site serves our users in three ways.
  • First, it offers the documentation and description of databases available. Each database is accompanied by a general description, various components of the database, descriptions of variables, and documentation.
  • Second, users may access the database using the query forms. Users can search and download information using these pages by entering their own search criteria.
  • Finally, users can submit an account request, a restore request, or technical questions with this access method.        
    • You may also make an SSH connection to wrds.wharton.upenn.edu with a your username and password. Once logged in, you will begin at your home directory.
    • The directory structure for the data is as follows:
      • /wrds/crsp/
      • /wrds/compustat/
      • /wrds/fdic/ etc. 
    •  Each database directory contains subdirectories for the data files and sample programs.
      • /wrds/crsp/sasdata
      • /wrds/crsp/samples 
    • Each database directory contains subdirectories. We have several documents that provide step-by-step instructions on how to SSH to WRDS and how to retrieve data with FORTRAN and SAS programs. They are in MS Word format and can be easily accessed.

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Technical and Research Support

WRDS staff of technical and research specialists may be reached at wrds-support . They are available to assist you with difficulties pertaining to database access, data queries, and programming in SAS, FORTRAN, or C. If your request support is related to a particular program which you are unable to execute successfully, please copy the program into the body of your e-mail message for a quicker response. This is helpful for detecting any errors in your program. 
WRDS Support Contact WRDS staff of technical and research specialists may be reached at: 
We hope you enjoy your new WRDS accounts. You may find the ease of access, abundance of data, and unique system features such as downloading your information to an MS Excel spreadsheet, Advanced Query capabilities, and e-mail notification feature a significant benefit to your research and teaching endeavors. 
Electronic Resources 
Additional resources are available from any WRDS web page. You will find several listings: 
  • WRDS FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions): This resource contains the most detailed information on using our service including a system overview, data content and access, and extensive help on using SAS and FORTRAN programs to extract data.
  • SAS FAQ: Compiled by one of our technical specialists, this is an excellent resource for users just getting started with SAS.
  • Online Manuals: All electronic manuals published by our vendor providers (i.e. CRSP) are available under this link.
  • Downloads: TCP script for connecting to WRDS via SAS/CONNECT. 
  • Restore\ Request : Electronic form to be submitted in the event output is lost.

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    (Last update 06/10/2009)     (back to top)