Getting Started With WRDS

wrds
     
CompuSTAT
CRSP
CRSP/Compustat Merged
NYSE TAQ (Trade & Quote Academic)

Getting Started with

Wharton Research Data Services

Saint Louis University

http://wrds.wharton.upenn.edu

wrds-support@wharton.upenn.edu

Note: If connecting from Workstation A or B in Pius XII Memorial Library, please click here.

* If using TAQ "in the Microstructure Cloud", please check out these two guides.
    Getting Started with the WRDS Microstructure Cloud
    WRDS Microstructure Cloud Manual


Welcome to Wharton Research Data Services!

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 170 institutions including:

  • Stanford University Northwestern University
  • Harvard University University of Hong Kong
  • London School of Economics University of Chicago
  • London Business School Massachusetts Institute of Technology and more

WRDS provides access to COMPUSTAT, CRSP, IBES/First Call, NYSE-TAQ, Global Insight, OptionMetrics 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. You concentrate on research; we handle all the data management issues .

Access to Multiple Data Sources Simultaneously. WRDS provides a common interface to a variety of databases, simplifying extraction and increasing productivity. You no longer have to spend countless hours programming and decoding tapes or writing Fortran access programs. 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. Our 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.

Integrated Tools. WRDS provides sophisticated software tools and sample programs for a wide variety of applications, including security analysis, conducting event studies, and testing asset-pricing models using Fama-French portfolios. In addition, complete financial statements for a single company can be downloaded using a simple web interface. Classroom Application. Access to historical financial data on WRDS is also available to students using special class accounts that may be requested by any standing faculty of member institutions. One-click, IP-based access in labs and libraries is also offered.

Continual Improvements. We are continuously improving and adding value to WRDS. Our current efforts are concentrated on support for comprehensive international databases, as well as state-of-the-art analytical tools for faculty research and new applications for students and classroom use.

We hope you enjoy your new WRDS accounts. We are confident you will find the ease of access, abundance of data, and system support a significant benefit to your research and teaching endeavors.

Enjoy!

Sincerely,
WRDS Staff


Table of Contents


1.1 Eligibility for Access

All current faculty, staff, and students at St. Louis University are eligible for web access to WRDS. Individual (faculty, doctoral, staff, visitor and research assistant) accounts, which allow SSH access, may be provided with access at the discretion of the university’s WRDS Representative. Unfortunately, alumni members of the community, research colleagues outside the university, and other persons not actively employed or registered with the university do not qualify.

1.2 Applying for An Account

Step 1:

Step 2:

  • In the center of the login screen, you will see a link entitled “account request.”
  • Click on that link. Then click on the link entitled “new account.”

Step 3:

  • Fill out the account request form.
  • Click the box entitled "submit request."

1.3 Types of Accounts

Faculty
Faculty accounts are available to all standing faculty of member institutions. Standard accounts allow unlimited access via web, SSH, and/or FTP, and include 750 MB of home directory storage. Faculty will have their own password access. This password is to remain confidential and is not to be shared with any other individual.

Staff
Staff accounts are for librarians and IT staff of member institutions. Staff accounts allow unlimited access via web, SSH, and/or FTP, and include 750 MB of home directory page. Staff will have their own password access; this password is to remain confidential and is not to be shared with any other individual.

Ph.D. Student
Ph.D. accounts are available to all current Ph.D. candidatas of member institutions. Standard accounts allow unlimited access via web, SSH, and/or FTP, and include 750 MB of home directory storage. Doctoral students will have their own password; this password is to remain confidential and is not to be shared with any other individual.

Masters Student
Masters accounts are available to all current, full-time Masters students of member institutions and must supply the name of a faculty sponsor upon registration. Standard accounts allow unlimited access via the WRDS website. Masters students will have their own password; this password is to remain confidential and is not to be shared with any other individual.  WRDS policy prohibits Masters students from accessing WRDS during the extended break between semesters. Once the new semester begins, students will again be able to access their WRDS accounts.

Visitor
Visitor accounts are available to visiting faculty (non-permanent or part time position). These accounts are subject to additional restrications and may not be used after the visiting appointment ends. The WRDS Rep will choose to approve this person as a visitor. The qualification for "visitors" require a formal relationship between the institution and the individual -- the individual is being paid to be at your institution or has a formal letter of appointment (from a Dean) to an unpaid position. This generally precludes co-authors and PhD candidates. The User will have to accept additional Terms of Use prior to access. Standard accounts allow unlimited access via web, SSH, and/or FTP, and include 750 MB of home directory storage. The password is to remain confidential and is not to be shared with any other individual.

Research Assistant
Research accounts are availabe to graduate and undergraduate students performing research for a faculty member. Each faculty member is allowed to sponsor one Research Assistant at a time for an account. Research Accounts allow access via web, SSH, and/or FTP, and include 750 MB of home directory storage. Research accounts will have their own password access; this password is to remain confidential.  This password is not to be shared with any other individual.

Class
Class accounts may be requested by standing faculty of member institutions and are used to access the WRDS web interface. These accounts are primarily for student usage that is associated with a specific class and all students in the class share the same password. Up to 15 simultaneous users will share the same account and password. These accounts provide access only and do NOT include disk storage. They expire at the end of the term.  This password is not to be shared with any other individual.

Access Pass on Specific Pius Library Workstations (A & B)
Those SLU users without individual accounts may access WRDS through specific Library computers. When logging into WRDS, users will be asked to enter an email account with their university’s domain. WRDS will then send a message to that email address to verify that the account is valid. This email will contain an “Access Pass�? link which the user can click to get direct access into the WRDS system on that specific computer.
The Access Pass is good for that day.

WRDS Terms of Use

 All users must agree to the following:
  • WRDS services are for academic and non-commercial research purposes only. Data hosted on WRDS is for academic purposes only and its use is restricted under license terms set by each vendor. Do not use data downloaded from WRDS for any non-academic or commercial endeavor.
  • Access to WRDS is linked to your university or institution. Individual accounts may only be used by standing faculty, full-time research staff, and currently-enrolled PhD students. Access and individual accounts for research assistants, visiting scholars and other nonpermanent faculty is offered at WRDS’s discretion. Access by other types of students is limited to class accounts, in-library use accounts, and special IP authenticated services.
  • Protect your WRDS username and password. Do not share your username and password (not even with a co-author).
  • Immediately notify WRDS of any changes in your institutional affiliation. If you leave your current university or change your affiliation in any manner, you will have one month to notify WRDS about the change. If your new university or institution is a WRDS client, we will quickly transfer your account and files.
  • Your institution may have additional restrictions. You are obligated to learn about and honor restrictions your institution may place on users of WRDS and any licensed data that is accessed through WRDS.
  • Any evidence of the misuse of your WRDS account or the data hosted at WRDS is subject to immediate suspension of your account.
  • WRDS and its third party data providers do not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy or timeliness of the content. Due to the number of sources from which WRDS contents are obtained, and the inherent hazards of electronic distribution, there may be delays, omissions, or inaccuracies in the contents. Although the contents have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, they are provided to you on an "as is" basis without warranties of any kind. With respect to this service and the contents, and to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, WRDS and its third party data providers hereby disclaim all express, implied and statutory warranties of any kind to the user or any third party, including, but not limited to, representations and warranties regarding accuracy, timeliness, completeness, correctness, currentness, noninfringement, merchantability, or fitness for any particular purpose, or any representations or warranties arising from usage or custom or trade or by operation of law. WRDS, and its third party data providers, assume no responsibility for the consequences of any errors or omissions. In no event shall WRDS or any third party data provider or any of their licensors be liable to the user or to anyone else for any loss or injury caused in whole or in part by contingencies beyond their control or negligence in procuring, compiling, interpreting, editing, writing, reporting or delivering any content. In no event shall WRDS or any third party data provider or any of their licensors be liable to the user or anyone else for any claim arising out of or relating to WRDS-provided content, including, but not limited to, any decision made or action taken by you in reliance upon such content or for any types of damages (such as, but not limited to, direct, consequential, pecial, incidental, punitive or indirect damages), even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

1.7 Accessing the Data

WRDS may be accessed either through a web interface or a UNIX login session. After January 28, 2003, users may no longer connect to WRDS using the telnet protocol. A Secure Shell (“SSH”) program should be used instead. An account with username and password authorization is required to access WRDS using either method.

Web Interface:

To access WRDS via the Web, begin by pointing your browser http://wrds.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.

SSH:

You may also make an SSH connection to wrds.wharton.upenn.edu with a WRDS-issued 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 (see Section 3.2). They are in MS Word format and can be easily accessed.


2.1 Vendor Technical Contact/Support Information

For data vendor technical support, please contact the data vendors that offer each set. Below are contacts and email addresses.

Vendor Support Phone Number E-mail
     
Compustat (800) 525-8640 x4458 clientsupport@standardandpoors.com
     
CRSP (773) 834-1025 subscriptions @crsp.chicagogsb.edu
     
TAQ   taqorders@nyse.com

2.2 WRDS Representatives

Judy Geczi
geczije@slu.edu
314-977-3595

These are the responsibilities of your WRDS Representative:

  • Serve as a liaison between the WRDS staff and the users at the university. Any notices regarding system upgrades, the addition of new vendors, scheduled maintenance, etc. will be sent to the representative and he or she will simply forward this information to the users.
        
  • Monitor account requests by verifying that a requestor is indeed standing faculty, a Ph.D. student, or an authorized researcher/ administrator at the university. Whenever a user from your institution submits an account request, we will send you an email notification. Simply go to the URL indicated in the message and follow the instructions to approve the request. After we receive your approval, we will create the account and send the user an e-mail message with a special URL and instructions for setting the account password and logging into WRDS.

2.3 WRDS Administration

For information concerning your subscription, details on upgrading your package, or the status on negotiations with future data providers, please send an e-mail to: wrds@wharton.upenn.edu or contact us at 215-898-9065.


3.1 Technical and Research Support

Our staff of technical and research specialists may be reached at wrds-support@wharton.upenn.edu. They are available to assist you with difficulties pertaining to database access, data queries, and programming in SAS or C. If you request support 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.

3.2 Electronic Resources

Additional resources are available from any WRDS web page by clicking on the “support” tab located at the top of your screen. 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. If you do not see a particular manual you are interested in, please contact the vendor directly (see Vendor Contact information, Section 2.1) for a copy.
        
  • Downloads: TCP script for connecting to WRDS via SAS/CONNECT.
  • Restore Request: Electronic form to be submitted in the event output is lost (see Section 3.4)

3.3 Changing Your Password

You may change your WRDS password by SSH or web access.

By SSH:

Step 1:

  • SSH to wrds.wharton.upenn.edu
  • At the system prompt, enter the following: passwd

Step 2:

  • You will be prompted for your old password. Type in your current password and then press the Enter key.

Step 3:

  • You will be asked for the new password. Type in a new password. Your password should be at least 6 characters long. On Unix systems passwords are case sensitive: lower-case and uppercase letters are different. To avoid problems, it’s a good idea to use only lower-case letters and numbers. The password does not appear on the screen when you type it.

Step 4:

  • To ensure you typed your new password correctly, you are asked to enter it again. Type in your new password again. If you typed the same password both times, the system returns to the system prompt. From now on, use this password to log on to this system. If you make a mistake typing your password, you’ll receive an error message, and the system will not change your password. If this happens, repeat Steps 2 through 4.

By WEB:

Go to https://wrds.wharton.upenn.edu/changepassword/index.shtml and follow the instructions.

3.4 Lost Password

Go to http://wrds.wharton.upenn.edu/lostpassword/index.shtml and follow the instructions.

If you have any further questions, please send e-mail to
wrds-support@wharton.upenn.edu.

3.5 Lost Output

In this event, please submit a Restore Request, available under the Support tab. Please allow one business day for processing.


4. WRDS@WHARTON

Our staff of technical and research specialists may be reached at:

wrds-support@wharton.upenn.edu

They are available to assist you with difficulties pertaining to database access, data queries, and programming in SAS, FORTRAN, or C. If you request support related to a particular program, which you are unable to execute successfully, please copy the program into the body of your e-mail for a quicker response. This is helpful for detecting any errors in your program.

We hope you enjoy your new WRDS accounts. We are confident that you will 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.

Edited and reproduced from "Getting Started with WRDS at Saint Louis University"


Last Updated January 4, 2012.