Setting a new standard for research

The GESIS Panel is one of the first panels to offer researchers access to a representative sample of the population.

The Challenge

The GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences is the largest German infrastructure institution for the social sciences. In 2013, GESIS decided to make research much easier for social scientists with a population-representative panel. The challenge: The GESIS Panel should be simple, fast, naturally meet the highest academic, methodological, and technical requirements, and provide social scientists of all disciplines with valid data for their research.

The Solution

Together with Tivian, GESIS developed a mixed-mode panel infrastructure (online and paper combined) based on Tivian’s Enterprise Feedback Suite (EFS) technology. This enables researchers to easily collect representative population data—for example, on opinions, attitudes, and behaviour. The GESIS panel data are representative of the German-speaking population aged 18 to 70 years, with permanent residence in Germany. A great additional benefit for the researchers: The use of the panel as a survey infrastructure, as well as data access, is free of charge.

The Results

In February, 2014, the GESIS Panel started with almost 5000 panelists. Since the panel’s launch, eight core studies have been developed and surveyed once a year. Without the GESIS Panel, a separate population-representative sample would have had to be developed for each of the 46 studies set up so far. Many studies would not have been feasible without the panel. Thus, the GESIS Panel today contributes a great deal of value to social science research.

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