Free Use for Non-commercial Online Surveys

SoSci Survey promotes scientific research through the free and ad-free provision of the survey server (cloud service) and the survey software SoSci Survey (software license).

In addition, (cloud service) is available free of charge and ad-free for surveys created by non-profit organizations. This service is further available free of charge for surveys used in the context of method exercises and include advertising at the end of the questionnaire. In free survey projects on up to 5000 interviews (records in the data set) can be collected.

Cloud Service

In order to use the service free of charge, please register at, select the server when creating the survey project and then click on "Free use" and "Check prerequisites".

Local Campus Server

Check the following list to see if your university or college provides a local survey server for non-commerical research, independently from

Availability of SoSci Survey at Your Campus

Conditions for Creating Survey Projects Free of Charge (cloud service)

In order to use the SoSci service free of charge, the survey project must have no commercial background. A survey project is classified as non-commercial if it is not being carried out on behalf of or in cooperation with a commercial enterprise. Cooperation exists if the business enterprise influences the study in any way (for example by including questions formulated according to company bias), receives exclusive data, results or a presentation related to the results, or pays a fee for the study’s execution.

Most scientific works (for example, research papers; bachelor, master and diploma theses; and dissertations) that are not completed in cooperation with a company are eligible to use SoSci Survey for free.

Important: On the server only anonymous surveys may be conducted. If you intend to collect personal data, this is only allowed on the pro-server with costs. In case of doubt, please contact your university's data protection officer.

A university license (see below) is not required for the free use of

Conditions for ad-free questionnaires and those with advertising included

Scientific surveys and online questionnaires that are created by charitable organizations benefit from a completely advertising-free questionnaire. We classify a survey project as scientific if the results will be published, for example in an academic journal, in a book or in a thesis (without restrictions).

Non-commercial surveys created by a school, university or their students that produce results which will not be published, i.e. will not benefit society, are classified as method exercises. In such cases, an advertisement will appear on the last page of the online questionnaire. The choice in advertising partners is carefully selected.

All the details about using for free

No Free Use

Free use is likely unavailable in the following cases.

  • You or your institution receive a payment for conducting the survey beyond your regular salary.
  • The survey is part of a BMBF-funded project and at least one project partner is a commercial company.
  • The study is conducted for a commercial company (also in the context of seminars).
  • The results of the study are used to found a company or are intended to support companies, e.g. as part of general business promotion.

How to get a free server license (university license)

Universities and colleges can apply for a free university license to run SoSci Survey on a university server. Technically, the university license corresponds to the regular annual license (software license).

If you are unsure if your university already provides a survey server based on SoSci Survey, please check this list: Availability of SoSci Survey at Your Campus.

Note: To conduct surveys on, a university license is not required – it is only required if SoSci Survey is to be operated on a local university server.


  • Only one university license per university or college can be granted.
  • The offer applies only to publicly funded universities/colleges. The offer does not apply to industrially affiliated institutions, and does not apply to institutions that charge tuition.

  • The university license may only be used for conducting non-commercial surveys. This means that the respective study is neither commissioned nor created in cooperation or coordination with a profit-oriented company.

    For commercial surveys, please select the appropriate offer on or purchase a regular annual license. A university license can be converted into a paid license at any time without being reinstalled (even temporarily).

  • The applicant undertakes to design the local installation of the license in a way that allows other university staff and students to use it without restrictions. In particular, technical support for SoSci Survey and its availability must be ensured in the long term. Coordinating with the respective university’s IT department is useful in this regard.
  • The local installation must be available in particular for teaching.
  • SoSci Survey reserves the right to list the name of the university and that of the organizational contact person (including the e-mail address) on the homepage and/or to provide the representative’s contact details.
  • SoSci Survey is in no way obligated to grant a university license.
  • The university license can be revoked at any time.

Applying for a university license

To apply for a university license, please send an informal e-mail with the following information to

  • (University) address of the responsible applicant
  • Contact for organizational questions, especially for other employees and students at the university (including e-mail address)
  • Contact for technical questions (including e-mail address), in particular, this contact person will be notified by e-mail about program updates
  • URL with information on the use of the survey server for the university members (if the e-mail address of the organizational contact person should not be listed on the website with university licenses)

License conditions

The SoSci Survey software is subject to copyright. A university license permits the intended use of the software under the conditions described below. The university license must be made available free of charge to the university or a comparable research institution (hereafter: the licensee) by SoSci Survey (hereafter: the licensor); it can be revoked at any time.

The licensor grants the licensee (1) the installation of the software on a server within the licensee's institution and (2) the use of the software to conduct non-commercial online surveys.

Any installations made while using this license may only be used for non-commercial survey projects, that is, studies that are not conducted on behalf of or in cooperation with a for-profit company. Purely public funded research projects are considered non-commercial projects.

Any further use of the software is not permitted. The distribution of the software to third parties is not permitted and as is the provision of the software to persons who are not part of the licensee's institution (for example, renting the survey server for individual studies).

The author and the license provider assume no liability for the correct functioning of the software or for damages resulting from the software’s use or errors in the same, as far as a liability committee and/or a limitation of liability are legally permissible.