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Social Impact of the Corona Pandemic - Participating in Research

Press release, April 4, 2020

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.

Almost the entirety of German society is being affected by the corona pandemic and its related measures, including shared living, everyday work life, and learning in schools and universities, among other changes. In order to fully grasp the situation at hand, a series of social and behavioral research projects were launched ad hoc.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in these research projects. There are online surveys on everyday life in the time of the Corona Pandemic, psychological effects, the current home-office work environment, as well as on homeschooling. Documents, photos, and impressions can be collected in the different Citizen-Science projects. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) compiles the surveys and initiatives at https://www.ratswd.de/themen/corona-umfragen and is continuously updating this overview.

Initial study results on how the population is coping with the effects of the Corona Pandemic are currently available. Additionally, existing long-term studies (especially panel surveys) are being used to measure the changes in life situations over time. A collection of surveys with representative samples, as well as completed surveys (the results of which should be available soon) can be found at https://www.ratswd.de/themen/corona-abgeschl-surveys. A list of commercial surveys can be found at https://www.ratswd.de/themen/corona-kommerzielle-surveys.

Scientists are encouraged to participate in the research; there are calls for papers and planned conferences, as well as the opportunity to include individual innovative research questions in panel surveys. Information about this can be found at https://www.ratswd.de/themen/corona-calls.

The information collected by the German Data Forum (RatSWD) at https://www.ratswd.de/themen/corona is from its own online reviews. Additions and corrections are very welcome and can be communicated at office@ratswd.de.

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Established in 2004, the German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten, RatSWD) is an independent council. It advises the German federal government and the federal states (Länder) in matters concerning the research data infrastructure for the empirical social, behavioural, and economic sciences. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has 16 members. Membership consists of eight elected representatives of the social, behavioural, and economic sciences and eight appointed representatives of Germany’s most important data producers. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) offers a forum for dialogue between researchers and data producers, who jointly issue recommendations and position papers. The council furthers the development of a research infrastructure that provides researchers with flexible and secure access to a broad range of data. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has accredited 34 research data centres and fosters their interaction and collaboration.