More press releases can be found on the German website.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Remote access to microdata from official statistics agencies and social security providers, directly from a researcher’s workplace, would make the research process more flexible and increase the use of these data in a scientific context. Existing remote access procedures in other European countries, and at some German research institutions, could serve as a role model for this. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) recommends developing and testing remote access scenarios for the microdata held by official statistics agencies and social security providers.
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.
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
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.
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.
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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