A Probability-Based Mixed-Mode Access Panel
for the Social Sciences

General Overview

The GESIS Panel survey waves take place on a bi-monthly basis, each encompassing about 20 minutes and are split up into two self-administered survey modes (online, offline). At the beginning of the panel survey (February 2014) about 65% of the panelists participate online (web-based surveys) and about 35% of the panelists participate offline (by mail).

The sample encompasses the German speaking population aged between 18 and 70 years (at the time of recruitment) and permanently residing in Germany. By the end of the recruiting phase in February 2014 the GESIS Panel encompasses about 4900 panelists

Each survey wave consists of two major parts: About fifteen minutes of survey time are reserved for submitted studies. Fielded panel studies from external researchers will have undergone a peer-review process. The second part of each survey wave (about five minutes of interviewing time) is reserved for longitudinal core study topics developed by GESIS.

One aim of the GESIS Panel Longitudinal Core Study is to measure frequently demanded characteristics beyond demographics, such as, for instance, personality and human values, political behavior and orientations, well-being and quality-of-life, environmental attitudes and behavior, and information/communication technology usage. Moreover, a second aim of the GESIS Panel Longitudinal Core Study is to assess and to control for data quality by measuring concepts such as survey participation evaluations, survey mode habits and preferences, and by including selected items from other benchmark surveys (e.g., German micro-census, ESS, ALLBUS, ISSP).

Moreover, the GESIS Panel needs to balance various interests, responsibilities, and regulations when making a final decision about accepting/refusing proposals, namely (a) legal regulations and ethical standards, (b) the responsibility of GESIS to protect the integrity of panelists, (c) the interest of GESIS to maintain an unbiased panel (e.g., by avoiding panel attrition and differential drop-out likely induced by specific topics and experimental procedures), and (d) the interest of the primary and secondary researchers to collect and use survey data. Accepted questionnaires will be run free of charge except for funded research projects that will be required to cover incentive costs only (five Euro per panelist and survey wave maximum). The GESIS Panel does not accept commercial projects. In case of any doubt or questions if your specific research project might cause conflicts between these interests, responsibilities, and regulations, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The GESIS Panel closely collaborates with comparable national as well as international projects such as the German Internet Panel (GIP), located at the University of Mannheim, the LISS Panel located at CentERdata in the Netherlands, and the ELIPSS Panel in France.