May 25, 2022

gesisDataSearch: “A Data Discovery Index for the Social Sciences” (Journal Article, Access to Beta Release)

Access gesisDataSearch (Beta Release)


Access gesisDataSearch (Beta Release)


The following full text article about gesisDataSearch was recently published by Scientific Data.


A Data Discovery Index for the Social Sciences


Thomas Krämer
GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Claus-Peter Klas
GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

Brigitte Hausstein
GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences


Scientific Data
Volume 5, Article number: 180064 (2018)
DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2018.64
Published: April 10, 2018


This paper describes a novel search index for social and economic research data, one that enables users to search up-to-date references for data holdings in these disciplines. The index can be used for comparative analysis of publication of datasets in different areas of social science.

The core of the index is the da|ra registration agency’s database for social and economic data, which contains high-quality searchable metadata from registered data publishers. Research data’s metadata records are harvested from data providers around the world and included in the index. In this paper, we describe the currently available indices on social science datasets and their shortcomings.

Next, we describe the motivation behind and the purpose for the data discovery index as a dedicated and curated platform for finding social science research data and gesisDataSearch, its user interface. Further, we explain the harvesting, filtering and indexing procedure and give usage instructions for the dataset index.

Lastly, we show that the index is currently the most comprehensive and most accessible collection of social science data descriptions available.

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.