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News 2020

July 15, 2020

Up-to-date Data Protection Guidelines for Empirical Research released

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has fundamentally revised its Data Protection Guide and adapted it to the new European legal framework. The guideline provides a brief overview of the data protection principles and their implications for social, behavioural, and economic research practices.
With this publication, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) is pursuing the goal of strengthening data protection skills when planning research projects and handling sensitive, personal data. The Data Protection Guide is openly accessible on the German Data Forum (RatSWD) website.

June 29, 2020

Mortality in Germany must be recorded better and faster – lessons from the COVID 19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed significant shortcomings in the recording and documentation of mortality in Germany. A current working paper from the German Data Forum (RatSWD) focuses on the main deficits: long information flows, a lack of centrally collected recordings of meaningful mortality data, and a lack of access to such data for research purposes.
For years the German Data Forum (RatSWD) has been recommending the establishment and further development of a nationwide mortality register. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) therefore welcomes the contributions to the discussion, especially against the background of the COVID 19 pandemic.

June 26, 2020

KonsortSWD becomes part of the new National Research Data Infrastructure

The Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz – GWK) of the German federal and Länder governments decided to fund the Consortium for Social, Behavioural, Educational, and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD) as one of nine founding consortia of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI).

June 3, 2020

Additional (geospatial) data for Migration, Health, and Finance-Market Research

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) accredited four new research data centres (FDZ) at its 55th meeting: the DeZIM.fdz, the IOER Monitor, the GePaRD Database, and the SAFE-FDZ. The DeZIM.fdz offers a comprehensive range of data on migration and integration. The IOER Monitor provides small-scale geo-data. The GePaRD database allows for the analysis of health insurance billing data. The SAFE-FDZ allows for interdisciplinary, historical research into financial markets. At its 55th meeting, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) also discussed ways to optimise access to police crime statistics, judicial statistics, and other data from criminal research in order to to support the broader research field.

April 8, 2020

Assessing the re-use potential of research data in empirical educational research

RatSWD Working Paper #270: A workshop on the topic "Re-use potential of research data" was held on June 19th, 2018, at the Institute for Educational Quality Improvement, which was organized within the German Network for Educational Research Data (Verbund Forschungsdaten Bildung, VerbundFDB). Participants were ten researchers from different disciplines of empirical educational research in Germany. Representatives from the educational sciences, psychology, economics and sociology were present. The aim of the workshop was to develop and discuss quality criteria for research data from the perspective of secondary users of research data.

April 4, 2020

Social Impact of the Corona Pandemic- Participating in Research

A number of initiatives are currently emerging that are empirically recording the effects of the corona pandemic and how to combat it. The range of these initiatives is large, including self-selected samples from ad hoc surveys, representative surveys, corona diaries, and the integration in long-term studies. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) presents key information about the individual initiatives on its website, thus creating an overview, and promoting wide participation in the open surveys. Suggestions and notes on further surveys, their content, or first results are very welcome.

March 5, 2020

Large Voter Turnout for the Election of the 7th Appointment Period of the German Data Forum (RatSWD)

3,626 scientists took part in the German Data Forum (RatSWD)’s election, resulting in increased voter turnout and broader discipline coverage – the candidates were nominated by 15 academic associations . The German Data Forum (RatSWD) therefore has an even stronger mandate for its 2020-2023 appointment period. The elected candidates are now being proposed to the Federal Government for appointment. The election results can be viewed online: https://www.ratswd.de/wahl

February 28, 2020

Optimisation of Data on Crime and Law Enforcement

Information on the development and effectiveness of combating crime is central to politics. The statistics of the German police and the (criminal) judiciary in principle provide such information, but have significant gaps. Data links between the statistics are not possible, and due to incomplete access to these statistics, scientific research cannot utilise the full potential of these data - especially not for advisory purposes. The German Data Forum’s (RatSWD) publication analyses the (incomplete) interconnectedness of the existing statistics and develops solutions. The analysis is addressed to politicians, administrative authorities, and the statistic producing bodies.

February 13, 2020

APPs and Wearables in Research: Guidelines for Data Quality and Data Protection

Smartphones, Wearables, and other Sensors are increasingly used for scientific data collection. In addition to the methodological potential, the use of new information technology provides researchers, ethics committees, and research sponsors with new challenges. With its guideline, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) formulates recommendations for ensuring the quality of sensor-based data. It names ethical obstacles and data protection issues that must be addressed in the research process, and shows ways of quality-assuring data management.

January 28, 2020

The Data Strategy of the Federal Government: An active role for Science!

At a hearing of the Federal Chancellery on 23.01.2020, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) highlighted four key areas of action for the Federal Government’s data strategy regarding scientific research: 1) Providing access to public and commercial data, 2) Developing technical infrastructure for data analysis, 3) Ensuring data quality, and 4) Promoting the sharing of data and enabling of data links. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) outlines solutions in its position paper, and actively supports the further development of the data strategy.

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