Data Services


The conditions under which users obtain access to the data archived at GESIS

Means the fulfilment of the specified scope of performance of individual services. For preservation services, performance is completed upon publication in an online catalog.  

All research data transmitted by the Client to GESIS for further processing

A persistent identifier used to cite and link electronic resources (texts, research data, or other content). Current and structured metadata are assigned to the document via the DOI name. The DOI name consists of a unique alphanumeric string of characters.

Documents are survey instruments (samples of questionnaires, without the mention of names); method descriptions or methods reports; project reports; coding instructions; and all other materials that contain information about the collection or preparation of the data.

Documents such as monographs, essays, and journal articles may be published only if the rights of third parties (especially publishers) are not infringed.

An individual service in the areas of preservation, preparation, documentation, etc. that can, as a rule, be booked independently of, and combined with, other services. 

The FAIR Data Principles refer to the following points:


  • the finding of data (Findable),
  • access to data (Accessible),
  • the "seamless," automated integration of data or metadata (Interoperable), and
  • the reusability of the data by means of adequate preparation and documentation (Reusable).


These principles are fulfilled by using the Data Services.


Further information on FAIR Data can be found at CESSDA, the Consortium of European Social Science Data Archives.

The GESIS Data Catalogue (DBK) is an online cataloguing system containing study descriptions of all social science research data available in the data archive. All downloads from the DBK are free of charge. Datasets in the access categories B and C must be ordered for a fee via the shopping cart.

All structured information about data 

With the portal ZACAT, GESIS provides an access via which selected studies can be searched and analyzed at variable level. Usage is free of charge. 

Certain survey data retained at GESIS are subject to access restrictions and are accessible only via the Secure Data Center. The Secure Data Center offers (a) access to research data that are subject to access restrictions, for example on the grounds of data protection (so-called "sensitive data"); and (b) consultancy on the use of sensitive data in research. Data can be accessed at the Secure Data Center via different, particularly secure access routes. 

Combinations of several individual services

Combination of data and documents that make the data collection transparent