Independent research is the basis for competent scientific services and facilities for knowledge transfer. This is why research in the social sciences has a long tradition at GESIS of relying on official microdata. The tradition dates back to 1987 when the Scientific Advisory Board at the GESIS Center for Survey Research and Methodology (ZUMA) recommended establishing a center for official microdata.
Research subjects can loosely be categorized into processing of content-based and methodological questions. Projects on methodological aspects of official data, for instance, include contributions on sampling errors in the microcensus or on harmonization of available Scientific Use Files (SUFs) in the microcensus. In recent years, another specialist focus of methodological research has been testing sampling selectivity of the microcensus panel which was studied with reference to the example of issues relating to educational statistics. The special focus of content-based research include social structure analysis as well as analyses on change of households and families.