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Teaching Research Ethics Better! RatSWD Publishes Resource Collection

Press Release, May 8, 2019

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has published a collection of teaching materials on research ethics in the social and economic sciences with the aim of supporting teachers in higher education. The package consists of presentation slides and a booklet with case studies for a variety of uses. It is openly available via the RatSWD website. With this publication, the RatSWD continues its commitment to raising awareness to research ethics and to embedding the issue more deeply into the scientific community.

Continuing its commitment to embedding issues of research ethics more deeply into academic teaching, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) has released a teaching resources package comprising presentation slides and a booklet with case studies. It provides teachers with a good starting point for lectures and can be modified and expanded according to their needs and target group. Moreover, the material is an ideal introduction to the subject for independent study: in addition to an introduction to the principles of research ethics and how to distinguish them from data protection and good scientific practice, the slides also cover review procedures.
As early as 2017, the RatSWD recommended to set up local and supra-regional ethics commissions, which are, among other tasks,  in charge of review procedures, and to embed them into a comprehensive concept aimed at fostering reflection  on research ethics. Such a concept requires pushing for deeper integration of research ethics into (academic) methods training, student advice, and research training. The resource collection aims at closing this gap and raising awareness for the necessity of reflecting on issues of research ethics.

The resource collection is openly available via the RatSWD website. It is so far only available in German language:

For an overview of the RatSWD’s activities in research ethics, please visit:  https://www.ratswd.de/en/topics/research-ethics


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 32 research data centres and fosters their interaction and collaboration.