Whitcomb Center for Research in Financial Services Databases

Access to Wharton Research Data Services

Services Provided by WRDS

WRDS provides two types of access to the databases that Rutgers owns:

Use of either interface requires a WRDS account.

How to Get a WRDS Account

Rutgers faculty, staff, and Ph.D. students are eligible to get individual accounts on the WRDS system. Faculty members may also create class accounts that can be used by other students. To get an account:

  1. Point your web browser to http://wrds.wharton.upenn.edu
  2. In the center of the page, you will see a link entitled "account request." Click on that link.
  3. Click on the "new account" link and complete the Account Request form.
  4. Once you submit an Account Request, an e-mail will be sent to the Rutgers WRDS Representative, Ivan Brick (ibrick@andromeda.rutgers.edu), for approval. When your account has been approved, it will be created by WRDS. You will then receive an e-mail message that your account is ready for use.
  5. Before using your account for the first time, you must set your password. From the WRDS home page at the link given above, click on "members login" and on the login page click on "set/forgot password" and following the instructions. Use this same link if you ever forget your password. Do not send e-mail to WRDS support, since they cannot supply passwords. There is another link on the same page if you ever want to change your password.

Using Your WRDS Account

In the following, username should always be replaced by your own account name, which will usually be the same as your Rutgers NetID. WRDS may be accessed via the web interface or through a UNIX login session. Once you have received your account information, you can log into the web site by clicking on "Members Login" on the wrds home page. To log into the Unix system you can use SSH Secure Shell on your PC with the host name "wrds.wharton.upenn.edu". (You can also transfer files between your PC and WRDS using this software.) From a Rutgers Unix system such as rci, you can log in using the command "ssh -l username wrds.wharton.upenn.edu" and do file transfers using "sftp wrds.wharton.upenn.edu". If you log in to the web site you can click on "support" on the WRDS homepage for access to documentation on the WRDS system and the databases.

Account Parameters (applies to faculty, Ph.D. student, staff, and research accounts only):

WRDS Support

The WRDS staff of technical and research specialists may be reached via e-mail 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 for a quicker response. This is helpful for detecting any errors in your program.

Sample WRDS Unix Programs

On the WRDS Web site, you will find sample programs for accessing the databases through the Unix system. SAS programs are provided for many of the databases. For CRSP, there are also Fortran and C programs and for Compustat there are Fortran programs.

In addition to these samples, we have created our own Fortran programs for use with CRSP and Compustat. (Programs that you may have used on rci with CRSP and Compustat will not run on WRDS without modification.) These new programs provide more general capabilities than the ones provided by the database vendors. They contain extensive documentation showing how they can be modified to meet individual users' needs as well as how to compile and run them on the WRDS Unix system. To obtain copies of these programs, you can go the the directory /home/rutgers/rsverdlo/wcrfs/src on the WRDS Unix system and copy the programs crsp_returns.f95 and compustat_data.f95 to your own directory. Once you have the files in your own directory, you can bring them back to your local machine using FTP. When you are using these programs, you need to set an environment variable for your Unix session (or in your .cshrc file) using the command: setenv WCRFS="/home/rutgers/rsverdlo/wcrfs".