Go to main content

Research ethics

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

During its 5th appointment period (2014–2017), the German Data Forum (RatSWD) set up a working group on research ethics that consisted of RatSWD members as well as external experts, who developed recommendations on how to design and coordinate the new research ethics infrastructures. The recommendations included establishing local ethics commissions at social and economic research facilities and higher-level ethics commissions as well as systematically integrating ethical reflexivity into the training of researchers.

The recommendations were the result of a broad consultation process within the scientific community that included academic organisations and international experts. It took into account the diversity of methods in social and economic research and ensured the infrastructure’s international compatibility.

Working group members in the 5th appointment period


  • Prof. Dr. Gert G. Wagner
    German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), member of the German Data Forum
  • Stefan Bender (vice-chair)
    Deutsche Bundesbank, vice-chair of German Data Forum


  • Prof. Dr. Lisa Bruttel
    University of Potsdam
  • Lea Eilers
    Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung
  • Dr. Jan Goebel
    German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)
  • Prof. Dr. Steffen Huck
    Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), University College London
  • Dr. Eckard Kämper
    German Research Foundation (DFG)
  • Dr. Cornelia Lange
    Robert Koch-Institut (RKI), member of the German Data Forum
  • Prof. Regina T. Riphahn, Ph.D.
    University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, chair of German Data Forum
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. Daniel Strech
    CELLS – Center for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences, Hannover
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Strübing
    Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, German Data Forum member
  • Prof. Dr. Hella von Unger
    Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)
  • PD Dr. Erich Weichselgartner
    Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID)


  • Prof. Dr. Notburga Ott
    Ruhr University Bochum
  • Bertram Raum
    Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI)

RatSWD activities on research ethics in the 5th appointment period

Oct 2015
Participation in the DFG workshop “Risks of social science research? Research ethics, data protection and the protection of personal rights in the social and behavioural sciences”, Workshop results published as RatSWD Working Paper 255 by Eckard Kämper

Nov 2016
Presentation of the working group’s recommendation at a DFG workshop on research ethics together with academic organisations

as of Nov 2016
Consultation with academic organisations and international experts

Feb 2017
A forum on research ethics at the 7th Conference for Social and Economic Data (7|KSWD) and consultation with international experts

May 2017
Press release “German Data Forum recommends comprehensive concept for research ethics in the social and economic sciences”

June 2017
Publication of the RatSWD Working Paper 265 “Anmerkungen zu den vielfältigen Dimensionen einer Forschungsethik in den Sozial-, Verhaltens- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften” by Gert G. Wagner

June 2017
Publication of recommendations on the methodological and institutional integration of ethical principles: “Principles and Review Procedures of Research Ethics in the Social and Economic Sciences” (RatSWD Output 9 (5)) and distribution of recommendations to relevant stakeholders