Educational research profits greatly from the availability and analysisof longitudinal survey and competence test data. As the collection of suchdata and the preparation of a corresponding large-scale database is achallenging and expensive task, the results of these efforts ought to beshared among the scientific community. This article introduces theilluminating example of the German National Educational Panel Study(NEPS) and provides an insight into some of the key processesimplemented in preparing and disseminating its rich empirical data toresearchers from different disciplines and from all over the world. First, ashort overview of the design and research topics of the NEPS is presented.The NEPS thus has a clear focus on competence development andeducational processes—taking into account the relevant life-course-specificlearning environments as well as issues of social inequality and educationaldecisions. Other major aspects include the special situation of persons withmigration background and the various returns to education. As part of sixdifferent starting cohorts—ranging from early childhood to lateadulthood—about 60,000 participants are interviewed and tested regularlyin different survey modes. Second, the article describes the most relevantwork processes for the creation of Scientific Use Files—for example, datacleaning and editing, coding and variable generation, documentation andmetadata management, as well as data enrichment. The data protection anddissemination strategies are also explained here. Third, the article finallyalso gives some basic information about data usage as well as an outlook onfuture developments within the NEPS.
Executive Director of Research, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories ; Operational Manager Research Data Center, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories ; Director, Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories
von Maurice, J., Fuß, D., & Roßbach, H.-G.(2015). Establishing a comprehensive large-scale data infrastructure for educational research: The example of the German National Educational Panel Study. Contemporary Educational Research Quarterly, 23(4), 9-40.