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Help with WRDS

WRDS is a web-based business data research service from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

What is WRDS?

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS pronounced "Words") is a 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 evolved to become a common tool for research for over 290 institutions around the world.

WRDS provides a single interface to access Compustat, CRSP, Global Insight and other large financial and economic data files. Use of these files requires registration and is restricted to University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty, students and staff. Register with your UML email address.


WRDS is designed specifically for research requiring the use and manipulation of large data files and is used primarily by graduate students and faculty. Undergraduates wishing to use WRDS should talk to a faculty member to ensure that it is appropriate to their research.

WRDS Access Instructions

All faculty, students, and staff must submit a request to receive their individual username and password to access the WRDS search interface. Please follow instructions below.  

Note: it may take up to a full business day for WRDS to process your request for an account.

  1. Go to the WRDS Registration page 
  2. Fill out the account request form. Select the University of Massachusetts Lowell from the pull down menu and select the appropriate option for account type. Use your UML email address, not a gmail or other account.
  3. Click the "SUBMIT" button.
  4. You will receive your username and a link to set your password via email within a few days.

What's included with WRDS?

UML subscribes to the basic WRDS data package which includes WRDS tools and third party resources.  This powerful tool gives access to over 30 different resources within a single interface.

The 30+ resources include:

*  Compustat


*  Refinitive

*  Global Insight

*  Execucomp

*  DealScan

The "data dashboard" provides concepts of the coverage within WRD:  analyst estimates, audit/regulatory filings, banks, bonds/fixed income, compensation, derivatives/options, economics, financial statements, indices/factors, IP, marketing, M&A, mutual funds/hedge funds/ETF, returns, ownership, private equity/venture capital, and more.

For each resource there is a "query" guide to help focus and filter. Query variables can include date ranges, company codes, frequency selection, return type, and options for query output.

How to Use the WRDS Dashboard

When you log in to WRDS, you can browse individual subscriptions on the home page, but we suggest using the Dashboard instead. You can access this tool by clicking the “Data Dashboard” button, seen in the screenshot below:Screenshot of WRDS Homepage

The Dashboard lets you filter WRDS datasets by Subscription (whether UML has access), Category (provided by WRDS or a Third Party), Concept (topics like audit/regulatory filings, M&A/Mergers and Acquisitions, etc.), and Region (Asia, Europe, Global, or North America). These options appear on the right side of the Dashboard, as shown here:

Screenshot of WRDS Dashboard

NOTE: When browsing WRDS, datasets appear differently depending on whether or not UML has access to them. Material that is part of UML’s subscription access appears with blue text and a red arrow logo, like this:

Image of UML-accessible WRDS Dataset Link

Material that is NOT included with UML’s subscription appears with grayed-out text and a price tag logo, like this:Image of WRDS Dataset not included in UML subscription

If you need material from a WRDS resource that UML does not subscribe to, visit Ask a Librarian for help. We might be able to access that information through another platform, or find similar sources for your research.

Introduction to WRDS Research Databases

Research Data Overview of WRDS from Wharton Research Data Services on Vimeo.

If you cannot access the above video, you can watch it here