GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences: Go to homepage

New forms of data

Social scientists are increasingly drawing on new forms of data beyond the traditional genres of surveys and interviews. These data include administrative records, commercial transactions, social media and internet data, geo-spatial data, and image and audio data. These types of new data present challenges for technical infrastructure, legal governance, and ethically responsible research and digital preservation.

Researchers at GESIS are investigating several vital topics in this domain:

  1. linking digital behavioral data (e.g., social media) with survey data
  2. digital preservation of social media data to enable access while protecting privacy
  3. georeferencing surveys to link them to small-scale neighborhood information found in geo-spatial data

Learn more about our consulting and services:

  • Lemke, Steffen, Olga Zagovora, Katrin Weller, Astrid Orth, Daniel Beucke, Julius Stropel, and Isabella Peters. 2020. *metrics: Recommendations from the DFG *metrics project for “measuring the reliability and perceptions of indicators for interactions with scientific products”. DINI Schriftenreihe. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. doi:
  • Kinder-Kurlanda, Katharina E., and Katrin Weller. 2020. "Perspective: Acknowledging data work in the social media research lifecycle." Frontiers in Big Data 3 (509954). doi:
  • Bensmann, Felix, Lars Heling, Stefan Jünger, Loren Mucha, Maribel Acosta, Jan Göbel, Gotthard Meinel, Sujit Sikder, York Sure-Vetter, and Benjamin Zapilko. 2020. "An Infrastructure for Spatial Linking of Survey Data." Data Science Journal 19 (1): 27. doi:
  • Lietz, Haiko. 2020. "Drawing impossible boundaries: Field delineation of Social Network Science." Scientometrics 125 2841–2876. doi:
  • Zens, Maria, Yvette Shajanian Zarneh, Jürgen Dolle, and Freia De Bock. 2020. "Digital Public Health – Hebel für Capacity Building in der kommunalen Gesundheitsförderung." Bundesgesundheitsblatt – Gesundheitsforschung – Gesundheitsschutz 63 (6): 729-740. doi: