Student’s Starter Guide
The GSS Data Explorer tool provides a quick and interactive way for you to explore GSS data and use it for classwork or research. The site allows you to create and share projects with classmates or colleagues, work from existing outputs within a project, and to leave comments and questions on project work. Below is a step-by-step guide on using the GSS Data Explorer for your classwork or research.


1. Visit

2. Click on the register button in the top navigation, and then fill out the Create an Account form. Also ask your students to register and begin to explore the site.

3. You will receive an email confirming your GSS DE site registration.

Create a project

1. Once you are logged into the site, from the Home page, select “Projects Overview” – this will take you to the project home page. All users will be given a default project to start with, from which they can begin to explore GSS data and build analyses.

2. Select “Create a Project”, and enter your project name and description.

3. Projects can be kept private, shared with others, or made public. To share this project with colleagues or classmates, select "Shared" and copy and paste each user’s email address. Be sure to hit enter after pasting each email - each user will receive an email, alerting them that you have shared a project. a. Users can be added or removed from the project at any time under the project settings tab.

4. Select types of file formats (SPSS, SAS, R Script, DDI, or Excel) for future project downloads. These can be changed at any time.

Populate a project

1. Now that you’ve created a project, you can begin to add the variables you would like to analyze.

2. From your individual project page, select the + button to the right of the “Variables” box.

3. This will take you to the Search page – from here, you can search more than 5,000 GSS variables by keyword, subject, or year. Information on each variable includes: name, description, years available, survey question, and summary statistics for the variable. Users can gain a better understanding of the GSS by reviewing the variables and the survey questions asked, as well as search topics of interest.

4. Once you’ve identified variables of interest, add them to your project cart by clicking on the orange cart symbol to the left of the variable name.

5. You may also save your variable search by selecting “Save Search.”

Create Analyses and Extracts

1. With variables in your project cart and variable searches saved, you can now run analyses on the variables, or extract the data for use in another statistical program. a. Important: If you share projects with other users, remember that each member on a project has the same permissions; therefore users can edit analyses and overwrite your existing work.

2. Additionally, you can preview the entire list of analyses and extracts you developed by selecting “Analyses” or “Extracts” from the individual project page. These lists allow you to open and review each piece of saved work, or leave comments and questions.

3. For a quick view of all activity in the project, you can review the “Project Activity” feed displayed on the right of the individual project page.

4. You and anyone you’ve shared your project with can return to the project at any time; all work can be saved for future editing.