Survey Data Curation (SDC)

The department processes and prepares social science research data across a diverse range of data types to support research, especially in comparative perspectives across space and time. The curated data include long-term national (e.g., ALLBUS, GLES, Politbarometer, FReDA) and international (e.g., ISSP, EVS, CSES, Eurobarometer) survey programs with large user communities. The department is responsible for data documentation and curation according to the highest quality standards. We strive to improve the FAIRness of the data by preparing rich domain specific metadata and multilanguage data and documentation in different formats. The data are prepared for immediate re-use for research and teaching purposes. In addition, data products including small scale regional (e.g., counties, municipalities) and spatial (e.g., ZIP-codes, INSPIRE-Grids) identifiers are provided. The department also offers services for linking surveys with geo-data and digital behavioral data. 

Research activities focus on contemporary societal issues with special attention to comparative studies of democratic societies.

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The team is responsible for data integration, data processing and data documentation for a set of important international comparative survey programs to which GESIS contributes continuously. Currently, these programs are: The Comparative Survey of Electoral Systems (CSES), the Eurobarometer, the European Values Study (EVS), the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) and the European Election Study (EES). Occasionally, further comparative surveys are supported in data processing and dissemination.  

The team is part of the Research Data Center (RDC) International Survey Programs which also includes staff members of the GESIS department Monitoring Society and Social Change, involved in data collection processes.  

RDC staff supports the survey programs’ principal investigators in terms of planning research designs and data management to facilitate the subsequent processing and use of the data. Therefore, staff members are involved in the relevant bodies of the corresponding project consortia. The collected data is standardized, harmonized, comprehensively documented and checked in consultation with the principal investigators, and is finally offered for secondary use via GESIS distribution systems.  

The data maintained by the team are deployed to thousands of – predominantly international - users a year for research and teaching. 

Team members are actively conducting research on a broad range of substantive and methodological issues in the fields of political science and sociology, focusing on international comparison.

The primary task of the team is the high-quality processing and documentation of data generated by national reference studies in the social sciences including the German General Social Survey (ALLBUS) and German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES). The team also contributes to the dissemination of data generated from the FReDA project and Politbarometer. For these and other programs, the team produces ready-to use-data sets and extensive documentation materials, like Variable Reports or English language documentation materials, as well as added-value products, such as cumulative longitudinal data sets. The team has the responsibility for creating small scale regional- and spatial attributes of the data. Additionally, the team is responsible for the management of the research data centers RDC ALLBUS and RDC Elections. Apart from GLES, RDC Elections hosts a wide array of other election studies. Most notably, it is responsible processing and distributing the series Politbarometer by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen, for which it provides full documentation and prepares cumulative data sets. 

Research activities within the team focus on political attitudes and behavior, the sociology of religion, value research and general demographic change.

Responding to a growing demand from researchers, the team provides innovative harmonization and linking services for research data. Key objective is to add value to existing data by increasing their analytic potential. Linking services include pooling existing surveys by harmonizing the measurements and linking of survey data with contextual, geospatial, and digital trace data to support investigations into various topics, such as comparative and multi-level questions of social and societal change.

Research activities within the team focus on methodological questions regarding harmonization, geospatial analysis, and data linking as well as substantive topics related to social inequality, social norms, and the effects of digital media.