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Relevance of big data for scientific research

Working group during the 5th appointment period (2014–2017)

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) is addressing recent developments and debates about big data and their significance for empirical social, behavioural, and economic research. The main issues include the quality of big data, the relevance of big data for research as well as data documentation and access to big data.

RatSWD activities on big data in the 5th appointment period:

April 2015
Festveranstaltung und Paneldiskussion des RatSWD zum Thema Big Data und Wissenschaft

Nov 2016
Internationaler Expertenworkshop des RatSWD “Big Data in Social and Economic Research”, Austausch über Datenzugangsmodelle zu Big Data mit nationalen und internationalen Stakeholdern

Dez 2016
Session “The ethics of using new forms of data for cross-national research” beim RatSWD/UK Data Forum-Workshop “Cross national research data: access, legality, ethics and opportunities” am 19. Dezember 2016 in London

Working group members


  • Hans-Josef Fischer
    IT.NRW (Landesbetriebe Information und Technik Nordrhein-Westfalen), member of the German Data Forum
  • David Schiller
    Research Data Center of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB), member of the German Data Forum


  • Thomas K. Bauer
    RWI – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, member of the German Data Forum
  • Stefan Bender
    Deutsche Bundesbank, vice-chair of the German Data Forum
  • Eckart Hohmann
    President (ret.) of the Hessian State Statistical Office
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Liebig
    Bielefeld University

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