RemoteNEPS – An Innovative Research Environment

Skopek, Jan, Koberg, Tobias, and Hans-Peter Blossfeld

Abstract

This chapter provides an introduction to conceptual, technical, and workflow issues of the National Educational Panel Study’s remote-data-access solution. We illustrate that RemoteNEPS is capable not only of providing safe and highly controlled access to sensitive individual-level data, but moreover of offering an innovative, user-oriented, and very powerful research facility for analyzing rich and complex NEPS data. We present crucial conceptual aspects in the design of the NEPS and reveal how we put these aspects into practice. As we show, using RemoteNEPS is very simple. Contracted researchers need nothing more than web access and a (properly configured) standard web browser. It must be noted that running a remote-access site in this dimension is costly; however, the NEPS provides this service at no charge to its users. Importantly, our discussion on RemoteNEPS is not merely a conceptual blueprint; rather, it documents a system that has been in productive use for almost four years and that serves more than 200 users. RemoteNEPS is undoubtedly blazing the trail to the effective employment of remote access in the German context of research-data dissemination. Still, there are manifold ways in which RemoteNEPS could be improved in the future. We discuss the most promising aspects in our conclusion.

In: Blossfeld, H.-P., von Maurice, J., Bayer, M., and Skopek, J. (eds, forthcoming), Methodological Issues of Longitudinal Surveys: The Example of the National Educational Panel Study, Wiesbaden: Springer.

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