About Our Name

We are frequently asked by journalists and others about our name and its proper use in their stories, research reports, and other public situations. Here is the answer to that question:

We use the name NORC at the University of Chicago for all public, media, and communications purposes.

The recommended first reference is “the non-partisan and objective research organization NORC at the University of Chicago,” with subsequent references simply NORC.

We were founded and incorporated in 1941 as the National Opinion Research Center and this remains our legal name. In 2010, to reflect the many changes in our mission and the global nature of our work, we registered NORC as our externally facing, to-do-business (TDB) name. NORC is not an acronym, it is our name, as with organizations such as IBM, AT&T, RAND, and GEICO. We use NORC at the University of Chicago to emphasize our close affiliation with the University.

If it is spoken, we say each letter: N-O-R-C, and avoid the temptation to say “Norc” as one word.

A note about the General Social Survey:

If you are using data from the General Social Survey, which is a project of NORC, we recommend the following citation: “The General Social Survey (GSS) is a project of the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, with principal funding from the National Science Foundation.” Subsequent reference would be simply GSS.

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