Go to main content

Research Data Centre German Microdata Lab (GML) at GESIS

Logo RDC German Data Lab

The GML acts as an interface between empirical social research and official statistics. This includes close cooperation with official statistics on the development of microdata for empirical social research, as well as the contribution of content-related and methodological expertise to advisory boards and committees. The team's methodological and content-related research forms the basis for competent user advice and knowledge transfer.

  • Thematic Focus: Work, Occupation & Labor Market, Education, Family, Children & Youth
  • Data type focus: Quantitative
  • Status: Accredited
  • External Data Ingest: Restricted
  • RDM Consultation: No

Data Offer

The GML provides research-based services on microdata of official statistics in Europe and Germany (particularly German Microcensus, European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC)). The service includes tools for data analysis, metadata and knowledge transfer, but not the dissemination of official data. These can be obtained from official statistics.

However, it is possible to analyze a few older datasets via a guest researcher status at the GML. These data are the Microcensus GESIS-Files (1962-1969), Microcensus Supplementary Survey “Occupational and Social Shifts of the Population” (1971), Population and Occupation Census (1970), and microdata of official statistics of the GDR (1988).

In addition, as part of the International Data Access Network (IDAN) project established in 2018, it is possible to obtain remote access to data from the following research data centers from France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK at guest researcher workstations in the safe room of the GML: Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Secure Data Center at GESIS Cologne (GESIS), Secure Access Data Center (CASD, France), Statistics Netherlands (CBS, Netherlands) and UK Data Service (UKDS, United Kingdom).

Furthermore, as part of a pilot project, it is possible to obtain remote access to German Pension Insurance data in the safe room of the GML.


The service includes among others:

  • Data analysis tools for the preparation of raw data (setups) and for the operationalization of social science constructs (tools).
  • Extensive, structured provision of metadata on German and European official microdata in MISSY.
  • Knowledge transfer: Individual consulting, workshops, and user conferences on content-related and methodological research questions in the analysis of official microdata
  • Guest researcher workstations in a safe room

Data Access Mode

The data stored at the FDZ-GML can be accessed free of charge via a guest researcher status in the safe room of the GML in Mannheim and via remote data processing (remote desktop).

In addition, it is possible to work remotely in the safe room of the GML with the data stocks of the International Data Access Network (IDAN) project and the German Pension Insurance (pilot project).

The prerequisite for data access is the conclusion of a data use agreement and, if necessary, further declarations of commitment.


GESIS – Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
German Microdata Lab
B6, 4-5
68159 Mannheim

E-Mail: gml@gesis.org