For conditions governing use of this translation, please note the following:
Translations of these materials into languages other than German are intended solely as a convenience to the non-German-reading public. Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in translation of the official German version of are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or enforcement purposes.
(1) Ten members shall be appointed to the German Data Forum (hereinafter RatSWD) as representatives of the empirical social and economic sciences and ten members as representatives of data producers. The appointment proposals for the representatives of the empirical social and economic sciences shall be determined in a free, secret, and direct ballot. The ballot may be cast in person, via absentee ballot, or via online ballot. The RatSWD shall determine the election procedure and the date of the ballot no later than 6 months before the election. The RatSWD may delegate the decision to its chairpersons.
(2) The RatSWD shall determine an elections administrator and his or her deputy. They may not run as a candidate for the election of the appointment proposals.
The election shall take place every three years. A second and third term of office is permitted.
(1) Eligible to vote (actively and passively) are academics with a doctorate (PhD) who work at state-recognised universities (cf. list of members of the German Rectors’ Conference) or in public, independent scientific research institutes in Germany.
(2) Eligible to vote (actively and passively) are academics with a doctorate (PhD) who work at departmental research institutions of the Federal Government and the federal states or in research departments of other public institutions in Germany, insofar as the legal basis provided by the institution or legally binding agreements of the respective institution show that the independence of the research is guaranteed.
(1) The RatSWD shall keep an electoral register. All those included in the electoral register must meet the requirements outlined in § 3.
(2) Entry into the electoral register shall be applied for in writing or electronically no later than 28 days before the election date determined by the RatSWD. Generally, the date of receipt of the application shall be decisive.
The election of the scientific members of the RatSWD shall be announced in advance on the website of the RatSWD as well as universities and other institutions of independent scientific research as well as academic associations with an invitation to attend the Conference for Social and Economic Data (hereinafter KSWD). The RatSWD shall compile a list of academic associations entitled to nominate candidates for the election. The KSWD may decide to include additional associations.
Nominations for the election of RatSWD members must be submitted to the chair-person no later than 28 days before the first day of the KSWD. Candidates can be nominated by academic associations determined by the RatSWD in accordance with § 5, which, pursuant to the stipulations in the Bundesgremienbesetzungsgesetz (Act on Appointments to Federal Bodies), shall propose one suitable female candidate and one suitable male candidate. Second, an independent candidate can be nominated by ten eligible scientists. The incumbent members of the RatSWD are entitled to submit suggestions, which must consist of at least five female and five male candidates. Suggestions must contain the declaration of each suggested candidate to accept ap-pointment to the RatSWD should the candidate be successful.
(1) The appointment proposals for the representatives of the empirical social and economic sciences in the RatSWD shall be voted on in two lists, one for female representatives and one for male representatives, in a secret ballot.
(2) Each eligible voter has two votes for the list of male candidates and two for the list of female candidates. Each voter can vote only once for each male and female candidate.
(3) The five male and female candidates with the most votes shall be elected. If candidates on one list receive the same number of votes, then the decision shall be made by drawing lots.
(4) The votes shall be counted publicly by a counting commission, which shall be selected by the elections administrator and at least one chairperson of the RatSWD. Members of the counting commission may not be members of the RatSWD nor applicants for membership of the RatSWD.
(5) The elections administrator supervises the election procedure and the ballot and is responsible for ensuring the election’s execution in accordance with the regulations. The business office of the RatSWD shall support the elections administrator in performing these tasks.
(6) The elections administrator ascertains the election result and announces the election results on the website of the RatSWD and the respective election website.
(1) The RatSWD shall set up an election website for the purpose of preparing the ballot and announcing the election results on the RatSWD website after the ballot date and the election procedure have been agreed upon.
(2) The public part of the election website shall contain
- the election announcement
- the provisions for the election procedure and the decision of the RatSWD on the election process
- the candidates
- the application form for entry in the electoral register
- the presentations of the candidates for the appointment proposals of the RatSWD in a format and scope determined by the RatSWD in accordance with the principle of equality. The proposed candidates are responsible for the content of the presentations.
(3) The non-public part of the election website shall contain
- the electoral register and the number of persons eligible to vote before the ballot occurs
- measures for technical and organizational data protection during the electoral procedure, particularly authentication checks and granted right of access (User ID) for the electoral procedure
- the voting process
(4) Those eligible to vote receive access to the ballot by the RatSWD following the registration in the electoral register.
(1) At the start of the election, the election administrator shall determine the number of persons eligible to vote based on the electoral register.
(2) The election proposals shall be made public on the RatSWD website 21 days before the start of the KSWD. The election proposals contain the names and affiliations of proposed candidates as well as the names and functions of those entitled to vote who support the respective candidates, and, where applicable, also the name of the academic association which proposed the candidate.
§ 9 Voting in person
Those voting in person shall cast their vote on the first day of the KSWD.
§ 9a Postal voting, online voting
Those eligible to vote can request postal voting or online voting at the RatSWD business office. Postal voting is regulated by § 10, online voting by § 11.
Those eligible to vote may request voting documents for postal voting including the voting paper from the RatSWD business office no later than 14 days before the first day of the KSWD to affect participation in the election and entry in the election register. The ballot must reach the RatSWD business office 3 days before the first day on the KSWD in a sealed anonymous envelope including the signed voting paper. Postal votes shall be counted separately.
(1) Those eligible to vote may request the voting documents for online voting from the RatSWD business office no later than 14 days before the first day of the KSWD to affect participation in the election and entry in the election register. Online voting must be concluded on the first day of the KSWD. The date will be determined and announced in a timely manner by the election administrator.
(2) Voting documents shall consist of the (electronic, where applicable) election document containing the login data as well as information on the election procedure and the use of election website. The election website shall provide the means to vote via online ballot.
(3) The ballot may be completed and cast after the authentication of the person eligible to vote has been completed on the basis of the access data named in the election document. The vote is counted after the online voting system has given positive feedback on the completion of the vote.
§ 12 Final provisions / validity
(1) Objections against the validity of the election can be raised within a period of 14 days starting with the publication of the results of the appointment proposals for the RatSWD on the RatSWD website/election website.
(2) Objections shall be directed at the chairpersons of the RatSWD in writing. The RatSWD shall rule conclusively on the validity of the election without delay.
(3) The data from those eligible to vote, which are saved in the non-public part of the election website for the purpose of voting, shall be deleted 90 days after the validity of the election has been determined by the RatSWD.
(4) The election regulations shall become effective immediately after publication on the RatSWD website in accordance with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Appendix 1: Definition of terms
Independence of research
exists when the freedom of research (Article 5, Paragraph 3, Sentence 1 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany) is guaranteed. This includes “in particular the research question, the principles of methodology as well as the evaluation of the research result and its dissemination.” 
Independent scientific research institutes are therefore
- institutions that are integrated into the German science system
- are non-profit or fully publicly funded and
- allow their members the free choice of research questions and adequate methods of analysis according to scientific criteria as well as the publication of research results in generally accessible form. 
are organisational units of an institution which fulfil the definition of an independent scientific research institute by analogy.
Other public institutions with research departments
are institutions whose research departments meet the definition of an independent scientific research institute by analogy. This includes, for example, state museums.
Departmental research institution
are federal or state institutions with research and development (R&D) tasks that are institutionalised in the form of a public authority within the framework of a hierarchical organisational structure and are thus subject to the specialist supervision of the responsible ministry, or non-university R&D institutions with which departmental research is carried out in continuous cooperation with a ministry.  A non-exhaustive overview is provided by the list of members of the Working Group of Departmental Research Institutions.  Scientists working at departmental research institutions that do not comply with the principles of research independence are therefore not eligible to vote.
Appendix 2: Academic associations eligible to nominate candidates
(as of 28 February 2019)
The academic associations determined according to § 5 of the election regulations of the RatSWD shall have the right to propose one suitable female candidate and one suitable male candidate as candidates in accordance with the requirements of the Bundesgremienbesetzungsgesetz (Act on Appointments to Federal Bodies).
- Akademie für Soziologie (AS)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft (dgekw)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Erziehungswissenschaft (DGfE)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Medizinische Psychologie (DGMP)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Politikwissenschaft (DGfP)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (DGPs)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (DGPuK)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie (DGSKA)
- Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS)
- Deutsche Statistische Gesellschaft (DStatG)
- Deutsche Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft (DVPW)
- Gesellschaft für empirische Bildungsforschung (GEBF)
- Verband der Hochschullehrerinnen und Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft (VHB)
- Verein für Socialpolitik (VfS)