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SOSS Basics

Adding questions to SOSS is a great way to collect data without having to manage a survey yourself. Here's how it works:

Adding Questions

  • Cost: SOSS is a bargain! An average question only costs around $1,500 (cost is dependent on question length). SOSS charges investigators by interview time at the following rates:
    • $4,750/minute: MSU faculty and staff
    • $5,250/minute: Nonprofit organizations other than MSU (including higher education institutions)
    • $5,750/minute: General users (all others)
  • Clients: Most rounds have 3-5 clients. Anyone can add questions to SOSS; no MSU affiliation is required!
  • Assistance: SOSS's expert staff can help you develop and refine your questions.

Data Collection

  • Respondents: A random sample of 500-1,000 Michigan adults respond via phone and 1,000 Michigan adults respond via online survey in each round.
  • Survey Method: SOSS is a phone and online survey. Approximately two-thirds of each round’s phone respondents are reached on cell phones, and one third on landline phones. The online participants are from a panel.


  • Adding Questions: You can contact us any time. Rounds can fill up quickly, so the sooner you contact us, the better!
  • Survey Frequency: There are typically 2-4 rounds of SOSS each year. We wait until a round has a full client load before going into the field, so start dates vary from year to year.
  • Field Period: Data collection typically takes 8-10 weeks.
  • Data Processing: Data coding, processing, and weighting typically takes 2 weeks.
  • Embargo Period: Results are provided to clients for their exclusive use for the first 6 months after data have been collected. After that, data are available to the public.


  • Deliverables: You receive a weighted dataset in SPSS, SAS, and Excel formats, a detailed methodological report, a weighted codebook, and open-ended responses.
  • Demographic Data: A full set of demographic, economic, and political variables are always included.
  • Publishing Results: There are no restrictions on what you can do with your data. We ask only that you cite SOSS as the data source, and tell us where you publish your findings!
  • Longitudinal Data Collection: You can collect data on multiple rounds of SOSS to track change over time.
  • Public Data: Once the embargo period ends, anyone can access and use SOSS data. We provide the full dataset, supporting materials, and online analysis tools at

Citing SOSS

  • General Methods Citation Example: "The 69th round of the MSU State of the State Survey (SOSS) was conducted by MSU's Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (IPPSR) from September 10, 2014 through November 26, 2014. The survey is administered by IPPSR's Office for Survey Research. This round of the survey reached 1,002 Michigan adults. The margin of sampling error with design effects was ±3.9 percent."
  • Disclaimer Example: "The analyses, interpretations, and conclusions in this report are solely those of the author(s). They do not necessarily represent the views of IPPSR or of Michigan State University."
  • Data and Codebook Reference Example (APA Format): "Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. (2014). State of the State Survey 69 [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from"
  • Methodological Report Reference Example (APA Format): "Pierce, G. L. (2014). Methodological Report: Michigan State University State of the State Survey 69 (Fall 2014 Round). East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research."