Getting Started

Our Getting Started package is designed to make it easy for you to work with the SOEP data.

Where to start

Before you start working with the data, we recommend the following:

  1. Watch our modular training videos, the SOEPtutorials -,starting with the "Introduction to SOEP". If you would rather attend a workshop near you, see our calendar of events for dates and information.
  2. Get to know our SOEPcompanion, an online reference work and practical guide to working with the data from our main study SOEP-Core.
  3. Attend one of our special SOEPcampus workshops on topics such as migration research, labor market research, and spell data. For more information contact Sandra Bohmann.

To brush up on your knowledge, we recommend the following:

  1. Consult our SOEPcompanion, a comprehensive online reference work and practical guide to working with the data from our main study SOEP-Core. You can search the SOEPcompanion for answers to specific questions.
  2. If you’re a Stata user, install SOEPhelp, which provides information about the datasets and variables in the SOEP.
  3. Watch our modular training videos, SOEPtutorials (YouTube), which include an Introduction to SOEP aimed at beginning users as well as other videos on specific aspects of the SOEP data. If you would prefer to attend a workshop near you, see our calendar of events for dates and further information.

For a topic search we recommend the following:

  1. Search our literature database SOEPlit by topic for publications based on SOEP data.
  2. See the SOEPcompanion chapter "Contents of SOEP-Core" for more on the topics covered in the SOEP and the intervals at which specific questionnaire modules are repeated. The chapter includes links to our web-based information system Paneldata.org, where you will find detailed information about the marginal distribution of variables.
  3. Check paneldata.org to find all the SOEP-Core variables sorted by key topics.
  4. Watch our SOEPtutorial "Introduction to SOEP" for a brief introduction to the main topics of the SOEP study.

What we offer

At SOEPcampus workshops, beginning data users learn how to prepare the SOEP data for analysis. Workshops usually last two days. They start with an overview of the topics of the SOEP, the structure of the samples, and survey details. Participants then practice creating a longitudinal dataset for analysis from the original data. Workshops cover topics including the use of weighting variables and intergenerational analysis, often followed by modules on longitudinal data analysis.

We also offer SOEPcampus workshops on special topics such as migration research, labor market research, and spell data. Participation is free of charge. See our SOEPcampus workshop schedule for further information.

If you would like us to hold a SOEPcampus workshop as an in-house event at your university, please contact us.

Contact: Sandra Bohmann

E-mail: sbohmann@diw.de

Tel.: +49 30 89789‑503

The SOEPcompanion is your online reference manual and practical guide to working with data from our main study, SOEP-Core.

It introduces you to the topics of the study and the associated variables. It provides information about the different questionnaires, the composition of the sample, and the structure of the data. It gives you practical assistance in finding the appropriate variables and analyzing the data based on exercises from our SOEPcampus workshops.

If you work with Stata statistical software and use SOEPhelp, you can consult the SOEPcompanion from Stata.

The SOEPcompanion also includes links to SOEPtutorials.

Contact: Selin Kara, Stefan Zimmermann

E-mail: skara@diw.de, szimmermann@diw.de

SOEPcompanion online 

SOEPcompanion PDF (PDF, 4.86 MB)

SOEPhelp is a Stata.ado that displays information about data sets and variables directly in the Stata window.

To use SOEPhelp, simply install the Stata.ado by entering the following in your Stata command window:

net install soephelp, replace from(http://companion.soep.de/SOEPhelp/)

You will find detailed instructions on our SOEPcompanion.

SOEPhelp can be used from Stata version 12 on and is directly linked to the SOEPcompanion.

Contact: Marvin Petrenz

E-mail: mpetrenz@diw.de

Tel.: +49 30 89789‑463

The SOEPtutorials let you learn how to work with the SOEP data without having to attend a course.

The series has a modular structure. You can watch the videos sequentially or individually for answers to specific questions.

Videos topics range from an introduction to the SOEP, to data structure, weighting, and analytical methods.

Many of our tutorials are linked to SOEPcompanion and Paneldata.org, where you can find more detailed information.

If you would prefer to learn about the SOEP in a hands-on workshop, see our website for a schedule of upcoming SOEPcampus workshops.

If you`re an instructor, you`re welcome to use the SOEPtutorials in your own courses. You can watch them on our YouTube-channel or in our media center.

Contact: Sandra Bohmann

E-mail: sbohmann@diw.de

Tel.: +49 30 89789‑428

Our web-based information system paneldata.org allows you to find the variables you need for your research quickly and easily. You can search datasets from different studies, including SOEP-Core, SOEPlong, SOEP-IS, and BASE II.

All variables are displayed with labels and case numbers, including unweighted frequency distributions, as well as the respective longitudinal variables (item correspondence list).

 Paneldata.org also lists publications based on SOEP data (previously covered in SOEPlit).

After an easy registration process, you can use the variable basket and a syntax generator, which functions with SOEP-Core data and the statistical software packages Stata, SPSS, and SAS.

Detailed instructions on how to use paneldata.org are provided in the SOEPcompanion.

Contact: Jan Goebel

E-mail: jgoebel@diw.de

Tel.: +49 30 89789‑377