Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rare disease mainly affecting women of childbearing age. It is characterized by a very large spectrum of clinical manifestations accompanied by prototypic abnormalities of the immune system. While recent advances in therapeutic approaches have taken place, SLE still has a profound impact on the quality of life and life expectancy of affected persons. The Swiss cohort for longitudinally studying SLE named SSCS responds to the necessity of better understanding the history of the disease, the mechanisms involved in its pathogenesis, to identify and apply new therapeutic and prevention strategies, as well as to analyze the impact that SLE has at the social and personal levels in Switzerland. SSCS is a tool to be used by all researchers interested to provide answers to the many open questions in SLE.