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55,270 users, 2,360 articles: data from research data centres will be used for socially relevant research

In 2019, 55,270 researchers used date from the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and its accredited research data centres (RDC), and thus published around 2,360 scientific articles. The usage figures highlight the importance of transparent access to research data. The network of 38 RDCs will ensure low-threshold access to research in the future. Since 1. October they have helped set up the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). The RDCs are part of the consortium for social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences (KonsortSWD) and are actively involved in the development of user-oriented services.

The RDCs accredited by the German Data Forum (RatSWD) adopted the 2019 Activity report as a result of the annual monitoring of their 23rd meeting of the Research Data Infrastructure Committee (FDI Committee) in early October 2020. The RDCs enable scientists to have flexible, data protection-compliant access to data, as well as allow RDC employees to conduct their own research, as their more than 500 publications in 2019 show.

The annual monitoring shows the positive development of the RDC’s data infrastructure: in 2019 over 400 new data sets became available- an increase of 10% compared to 2018, even though the number of RDCs did not increase compared to the previous year. The number of users also increased compared to the previous year, by more than 8,600 researchers to 55,270. In 2019 the FDCs recorded almost 80,000 free data downloads, around 8,400 more than in 2018. A total of around 2,360 scientific articles were published with the available data- including over 970 peer-reviewed publications. The RDC network and its range of data continues to grow: In 2020, four RDCs were newly accredited, and further accreditations were applied for.

The chairpersons of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) were elected at the beginning of the 7th appointment period. Tatjana Mika (RDC of pension insurance) and Dr. Daniel Fuß (RDC of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LlfBi)) succeed Dr. Pascal Siegers (RDC ALLBUS) and Dr. Jan Goebel (RDC SOEP at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW)). In the new appointment period, the FDI Committee starts its work in the consortium for the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences (KonsortSWD). The RDCs are a supporting pillar of KonsortSWD, which began its work in the National Research Infrastructure (NFDI) with eight other consortia on 1. October 2020.