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Connecting guest researcher workplaces to facilitate simple yet secure access to non-anonymised microdata.

To create optimal conditions for empirical research, simple but secure data access is an essential aspect. While fully anonymized microdata can usually be accessed directly, more granular and weakly anonymized data can only be accessed at so-called guest researcher workstations (GRWS) located in secure data rooms of the respective research institutes. Utilizing them is often costly – both in terms of time and money. Therefore, improving access to sensitive data is an important step to fully exploit the research potential of research data.

In essence, the RDCnet is designed to interconnect existing guest researcher workstations at participating research data centers. In this way, a network of secure data access points is established through which researchers can access sensitive data independently of their workplace. Combined with a joint booking platform, researchers can conveniently select a suitable GRWS from a selection of different research data centers and schedule a suitable appointment.

On one hand, simplified data access can significantly reduce the amount of travel time and effort required by researchers. On the other hand, research data centers also benefit from an increasing number of data users, while the final distribution of data sets remains the responsibility of the data providers to ensure the individual concept of data security.

The portal will be available by 2024.

Contractual basis between cooperating RDC in the RDCnet:

Pilot Project Information:

Technical basics: