About SoSci Survey

Easy yet powerful

SoSci Survey allows creating questionnaires for technically experienced project managers as well as for scientists who prefer concentrating on content.

You can quickly create simple questionnaires – If wanted, maximum flexibility or an individual design can be implemented easily by using PHP or HTML.

Roots in university research

The basics for SoSci Survey were created in 2003 at the Department of Communication Science and Media Research (IfKW) of the LMU Munich. A cooperation with the Univerity of Zurich in 2004 provided helpful supplements. The copyrights stayed with the developer, so the software was refined privately to become SoSci Survey.

Since 2006 scientists doing research online can use the software package publicly. Scientific projects, many of them theses and dissertations, could always use SoSci Survey for free.

The feedback from scientists and practitioners helped to improve SoSci Survey. In 2010, after a full refactoring, version 2.0 was published. Since then, SoSci Survey kept being refined.

In 2013, the website was translated into english to make the software available to international users.

Cross-funding with help of commercial users

In the beginning, the development and server costs were paid privately, when satisfied users started donating to SoSci Survey. With the help of those donations, in 2010 a virtual server could be acquired to provide users with a higher reliability and a safer SSL-certificate.

Since 2012 SoSci Survey started to be used more frequently for commercial research. Because this charged service acquires enough funds since 2013, SoSci Survey no longer depends on donations.

Steady improvements

SoSci Survey keeps being improved given the feedback of its users. They help find irregularities in the user interface as well as suggesting new possibilities.

SoSci Survey improvements

SoSci Survey in numbers

Version 2.0 of the survey software was published in 2010. This step was made to meet user's new requirements to the system architecture and to respond to the rapidly increasing numbers of users.

The following statistics give an overview as how vital the role has become, SoSci Survey plays in german online research.

The statistics regard all servers, operated by SoSciSurvey. Back in 2006 this was only ofb.msd-media.de, in 2007 onlineforschung.org was added for scientific purposes only. In 2010 those two domains were merged into SoSciSurvey.de which is still available for free for scientific purposes.

Year  Projects1 Interviews2
2014 13,660 1,739,945
2013 12,276 1,720,180
2012 9,736 1,326,258
2011 7,681 1,063,674
2010 5,962 650,0004
2009 2,626 350,0005
2008 1,026 135,0005
2007 243 42,0005
2006 50 6,5005

1 Part of these projects were never carried out (14% in 2011, 9% in 2012) – either because the study never was realized (approx. 5–10 %) or because the questionnaire was created for testing purposes only (approx. 10–15 %). Until 05/2011 multi-language-projects were counted seperately for every language (approx. 5–10 %).

2 Only fully filled out questionnaires are counted. Technically, the interview count is approximately 2.5 times higher (because of tests and aborted interviews)

4 Projection on a basis of May trough December 2010

5 Projection on a basis of realized projects and their amount of fully filled out questionnaires per project in 11/2009 trough 11/2010. The count of fully filled out projects was not countable in version 1.x

Contribute to SoSci Survey

SoSci Survey is free for non-commercial scientific research. This is possible thanks to companies and researcher using SoSci Survey for commercial purposes and paying for the service.

Nonetheless, SoSci Survey is a quite demanding project. We welcome any help to keep this project running! If SoSci Survey pleased you, please contribute:

  • Respond to questions in the support board Support Board
  • Help us to make the manual more clear Contribute to the manual
  • If you speak German, translate a chapter from the manual to English Kapitel übersetzen
  • Provide validated and often-used question batteries to other users (such as the demographics package in SoSci Survey)
  • or contribute to the project in another way you may encounter.

Thank you very much!

Citing SoSci Survey

You may want to or have to quote SoSci Survey as the software you used to collect your data. Strictly speaking, you have to distinguish between the software and the website service with its servers. While a software is quotable (see at the end of the page for a recommended quotation according to APA), the service can only be quoted in-text with its URL. Here is an example as to how to do this:

"The questionnaire was created with SoSci Survey (Leiner, 2014) and made available to the participants on www.soscisurvey.com"

Hint: The software is regularly updated. You will find the current version number after logging in on the left at the page end.

Leiner, D. J. (2014). SoSci Survey (Version 2.5.00-i) [Computer software]. Available at http://www.soscisurvey.com




  • 24.03.2018

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