Data Services for the Social Sciences (DSS)

The department offers sustainable infrastructures and services for data management, curation, and long-term preservation. Its mission is to foster FAIR data, open science and reproducible research in the quantitative and computational social sciences. ​

These services cover:

  • archiving services with different curation levels for individual researchers, projects and institutions,
  • providing access to archived data, including access to sensitive data in the Secure Data Center,
  • the data registration agency da|ra, and
  • data management trainings.

We would particularly like to highlight the following offers of our department:

Find out more about the teams:

The team is responsible for the core services of the data archive: it accepts data from internal and external sources and prepares it for inclusion into the archive (ingest). It checks, processes and documents data and materials, and prepares it for the dissemination through different information systems and portals. Through systematic preservation measures, the team ensures that the data holdings remain usable and interpretable for the long term, across changes in technology or in the needs of the research community. 

In addition, the team is involved in several projects in the field of research data management and the development of data infrastructures.

Team members research and publish in various fields, such as political attitudes, prejudice, voting behavior, research data management, and digital preservation.

The team links the Department Data Services with data producers and data users. The team provides customized data services for research data management (RDM), data archiving and data publishing. The team also operates the GESIS Secure Data Center. The team’s aims are:

  • to provide high-level consulting and training on all aspects of FAIR RDM, 
  • to support researchers in preparing their data and documents for re-use, and 
  • to facilitate user-friendly access to research data from open download to on-site secure access. 

Team members conduct research on data sharing, FAIR practices, and data protection in research data management. Substantive topics include assessment of adult competencies, data disclosure avoidance, and geographical research. 

The team  handles metadata and standardization issues, describes and improves workflows for products and services, and provides a DOI registration service. Metadata standards, controlled vocabularies, robust workflows, and persistent identifiers for data ensure the connectivity and interoperability of services and products within GESIS and with national and international co-operation partners. The team manages the application of metadata standards for GESIS’ services and systems, including support for the development of interoperable metadata standards (e.g., the Data Documentation Initiative DDI) in the international community. The team leads the CESSDA Metadata Office project (until the end of 2022), which oversees strategic developments for metadata issues within CESSDA and the implementation of CESSDA tools and services. Team members support key workflows that enable the documentation of social science data along the data lifecycle (e.g., creating study descriptions for publication in several search systems). The team operates the non-commercial agency da|ra for the DOI registration of social science data jointly with the ZBW Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

Team members conduct research on: digital preservation, data sharing, research data management, and novel data types such as social media.