A steadily growing number of re-usable data collections in the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences bears enormous potential for empirical research. This expansion of the research data infrastructure is accompanied by an increasing information need on the part of data users. High-quality analyses must be grounded in a detailed understanding of data sources, some of which are highly complex. Accordingly, supporting and interacting with the scientific community is essential. To fulfil this task, service quality plays a role as well as transparency, openness for discourse, and re-usability.
MICA (Making Information Commonly Available) sees itself as a general information and discussion platform on issues related to the provision and handling of re-usable data resources. The implementation of a modern forum solution opens up new opportunities for exchange and networking between data providers and data users that go beyond classic, bilateral question-and-answer interaction. At the same time, the forum serves as a continuously growing knowledge archive that makes all contributions and discussion threads readily available. The objective of MICA is to create easy-access and well-structured service that supports both the introduction to re-use of data collections as well as the exchange of advanced expert know-how. The Research Data Center of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (FDZ-LIfBi) in Bamberg is largely responsible for establishing this online platform. Other research data centres will join later during the project.
A first beta version of MICA – the online forum will be made available in December 2021.