Three questions for ... Katharina Götsch


Between 2014 and 2018, PUMA - Platform for Surveys, Methods and Empirical Analyses - conducted high-quality surveys in cooperation with Austrian universities, extramural research institutions and Statistics Austria. The research data for all modules are now available at AUSSDA. Katharina Götsch coordinated PUMA, headed by Sylvia Kritzinger.

What is special about PUMA?

PUMA, Platform for Surveys, Methods and Empirical Analyses, is the first initiative in Austria to foster close institutionalised cooperation between various social science disciplines.

On the one hand, particular focus is placed on high-quality research and further development in the field of survey methods; on the other hand, PUMA focusses on the promotion and implementation of experimental and innovative basic social science research across the various universities and disciplines.

Over the past five years, PUMA managed to establish and consolidate an Austrian-wide network as key player and point of contact for empirical social science research and methodology comprised of the Universities in Vienna, Linz, Salzburg Klagenfurt, Statistics Austria as the biggest public institution for data production as well as associated partner organisations - The Austrian Academy of Sciences and MODUL University as extramural research institutions.

What topics do PUMA studies address?

PUMA has carried out six data collection waves between 2016 and 2018, in which a total of 30 individual modules dealing with various socially relevant topics were collected. The PUMA survey modules were selected within the framework of a competitive public Call for Proposals and international peer review procedures. The calls were always open and not restricted to individual disciplines or universities. This ensured that the scientific quality of the research design and the survey instruments alone determined the inclusion in the PUMA studies.

Thematically, the PUMA modules cover a wide range of research areas such as health, age, taxes, political elections and candidates, immigration, welfare state, social media, sexism, and many more (full overview:

Numerous modules (also) focussed on methodological aspects and experimented with vignettes, stimulus effects, or factorial designs, whereby the PUMA studies make an important contribution to current (survey) methodological research.

Why did you decide to publish the data?

Social science research thrives on exchange, feedback, and criticism. The provision of research data not only contributes to the further development and improvement of the social sciences, but also secures the societal impact of publicly funded research.

AUSSDA publishes all surveys, 11 data sets with a total of 30 modules, conducted within the framework of the platform for free scientific use.

  • PUMA is headed by Sylvia Kritzinger, professor at the Department of Government at the University of Vienna.
  • Since 2014, Katharina Götsch has been coordinating the platform PUMA comprised of seven partner organisations and two associated institutions.

PUMA is a joint project funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) from 2014 to 2018 within the framework of the 2013 "Hochschulraumstrukturmittel" (higher education structure funds).



Katharina Götsch (Foto: privat)