The complaints office serves to address data provision-related problems between data users and the RDCs.
Goals of the complaints office
Its goal is to remediate in a timely manner problems that cannot be resolved by the complaints management of the respective research data centres (RDCs). The complaints office’s mandate is limited to matters of compliance with the accreditation criteria of the German Data Forum (RatSWD)
The complaints office is a quality assurance instrument of the research data infrastructure.
Complaints office FAQ
Who can address the complaints office?
What complaints does the German Data Forum (RatSWD) address?
The complaints office’s mandate is limited to matters of compliance with the accreditation criteria of the German Data Forum (RatSWD). This includes shortcomings and conflicts in the following areas:
- Application process for data access (e.g., unfounded delay of processing)
- Available data (e.g., limited data access or availability, inadequate data documentation or data quality)
- Support and services for data users (e.g., no way of contacting RDC or no access to RDC working aids)
The German Data Forum’s complaints office is not responsible for complaints about
- Fundamental matters of research data infrastructure development
- The practice of the RDCs regarding acknowledgement of institutions eligible for data access
When should the affected RDC be contacted first?
Contacting the affected RDC directly is the first and most effective way to resolve a problem in a timely manner. Complainants should make use of it before appealing to the German Data Forum (RatSWD) as a mediator. If unsuccessful, complainants may appeal to the German Data Forum by using the contact form above.
What are the individual steps of the complaints procedure?
- The RatSWD Office assesses the legitimacy of the complaint based on the given information.
- In case of a positive result, the RatSWD Office requests a written statement on the matter from the affected RDC. (Duration: ca. 4-8 weeks)
- The complaint and the RDC’s statement are forwarded to the German Data Forum’s monitoring commission, which decides how to proceed. (Decision no later than 8 weeks)
- If the complaint is deemed irrelevant or if a timely solution can be expected from the RDC, the complaints procedure is concluded. The complainant and the German Data Forum (RatSWD) will be informed about the result in a timely manner.
- If the complaint is deemed relevant and the RDC is unable to reach a solution, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) decides on an evaluation procedure.
- In case of a positive decision, an evaluation procedure is initiated.
- If the complaint is confirmed by the evaluation and the RDC (or the institution in charge of the RDC, respectively) is unable to remediate the problem, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) may consider revoking the RDC’s accreditation.