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The German Data Forum enters its 6th appointment period

Press Release, 21.07.17

The German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten, RatSWD) has entered  its 6th appointment period. Dr. Willms-Herget, subdivision head at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), oversaw the constitution of the committee during its first meeting on 13th and 14th July 2017. She underscored the outstanding role of the German Data Forum in opening up new research data and discussing current and future issues. This had also been illustrated by the recently published final report of the 5th appointment period. The German Data Forum elected Professor Riphahn (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) and Mr. Bender (Deutsche Bundesbank) as chairs. During the meeting, the committee discussed proposals for the further development of the research data infrastructure and the GO FAIR initiative.

On 13th July 2017, Dr. Willms-Herget, head of the subdivision “Research Organisations” in the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), oversaw the constitution of the committee. She thanked everybody present, especially those leaving the committee, for their successful work. The German Data Forum had successfully implemented its strategic agenda 2014-2017, she said, and given the federal ministry invaluable support in overseeing the EU data protection reform. The recently published final report offers an overview of the activities of the previous appointment period.

Dr. Willms-Herget welcomed the committee’s new members. She underscored the ongoing importance of the German Data Forum's role of in opening up new research data and discussing new research fields and methods, especially with regard to the challenges of the digital age in the social, behavioural and economic sciences.

The German Data Forum re-elected Professor Riphahn (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg) as chair and Mr. Bender (Deutsche Bundesbank) as vice-chair, who had also held these offices during the 5th appointment period. Both will continue their outstanding commitment to the German Data Forum.

During its constituting meeting, the German Data Forum discussed proposals for further developing the research data infrastructure, which aim at better exploiting the potential for harmonisation among the 31 research data centres accredited by the German Data Forum, enhancing their collective competencies  and improving user-friendliness of their services.

The German Data Forum invited Prof. Dr. Tochtermann, director of the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and professor for computer science at Kiel University, to discuss the GO FAIR initiative. It aims at augmenting the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), which is currently being pushed forward, to make research data more findable, accessable, interoperable and re-usable (Read more here). The discussion showed that there was considerable overlap between the German Data Forum’s accreditation guidelines and the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) as minimum requirements to research data access. Similarly, these principles overlap with those underpinning plans for creating a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), which have been put forward by the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII). All members agreed to continue this dialogue.

The German Data Forum’s next meeting will take place on 7th/8th December 2017.

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The German Data Forum is an independent body of empirical researchers from universities, university-level institutions, and institutions of independent scientific research as well as representatives of important data producers. It was established by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2004 with the goal of sustainably improving the research data infrastructure and its international competitiveness.