Press release, Juni 26, 2020
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).
At its meeting on 26.06.2020, the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz – GWK) announced the funding of nine consortia in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). KonsortSWD represents the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences, and builds on a growing network of research data centres (FDZ). This enables researchers to also transmit and analyse sensitive personal data, e.g. from official statistics. KonsortSWD also builds directly on the important work of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and will continue to develop and expand corresponding services with the German Data Forum (RatSWD) within the NFDI.
Spokesperson for the consortium, Prof. Dr. Christoph Wolf: “We are extremely pleased to be able to build a research-friendly data infrastructure for the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences, and to contribute to the NFDI.” Christoph Wolf is the President of the GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, which applied to the consortium in partner with the DIPF | Leibniz-Institute for Research and Information in Education, the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), the Leibniz-Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), the Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Research Data Centre Qualiservice of the University of Bremen, the Sociological Research Institute Göttingen at the Georg-August University (SOFI), the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), the Berlin Social Sciences Centre (WZB), the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW), as well as the Leibniz-Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID).
KonsortSWD is supported by 39 research data centres, 15 academic associations, seven specialised information services (Fachinformationsdienste – FID), eight stakeholders in the field of research ethics, and the Leibniz Association.
“The mission of KonsortSWD,” explained Prof. Regina T. Riphahn, Ph.D., Chair of the German Data Forum (RatSWD), “is to strengthen and deepen the infrastructure for researching society and its economy. This supports research into topics such as changes in demographics, migration and integration, innovation, stability in financial markets, work, education, populism, and democracy.” Additionally, cross-cutting issues are addressed throughout the entire NFDI. “As an especially important task, KonsortSWD will support scientific communities in deciding on ethical standards for data collection and research. We are particularly concerned with constructing an infrastructure for research communities that provides reliable answers to ethical questions, such as data protection,” said Co-Spokesperson for the consortium from the WZB, Dr. Maja Adena.
KonsortSWD is planned to start operating in October 2020. “We would like to actively support all those who use data in scientific areas,” added Christof Wolf, “and are therefore open for further ideas to expand the infrastructure”.
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.