At its meeting on 26.06.2020, the Joint Science Conference (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz – GWK) announced the funding of nine consortia in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). KonsortSWD represents the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences, and builds on a growing network of research data centres (FDZ). This enables researchers to also transmit and analyse sensitive personal data, e.g. from official statistics. KonsortSWD also builds directly on the important work of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and will continue to develop and expand corresponding services with the German Data Forum (RatSWD) within the NFDI.
Spokesperson for the consortium, Prof. Dr. Christoph Wolf: “We are extremely pleased to be able to build a research-friendly data infrastructure for the social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences, and to contribute to the NFDI.” Christoph Wolf is the President of the GESIS-Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, which applied to the consortium in partner with the DIPF | Leibniz-Institute for Research and Information in Education, the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), the Leibniz-Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), the Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the Research Data Centre Qualiservice of the University of Bremen, the Sociological Research Institute Göttingen at the Georg-August University (SOFI), the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), the Berlin Social Sciences Centre (WZB), the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW), as well as the Leibniz-Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID).
KonsortSWD is supported by 39 research data centres, 15 academic associations, seven specialised information services (Fachinformationsdienste – FID), eight stakeholders in the field of research ethics, and the Leibniz Association.
“The mission of KonsortSWD,” explained Prof. Regina T. Riphahn, Ph.D., Chair of the German Data Forum (RatSWD), “is to strengthen and deepen the infrastructure for researching society and its economy. This supports research into topics such as changes in demographics, migration and integration, innovation, stability in financial markets, work, education, populism, and democracy.” Additionally, cross-cutting issues are addressed throughout the entire NFDI. “As an especially important task, KonsortSWD will support scientific communities in deciding on ethical standards for data collection and research. We are particularly concerned with constructing an infrastructure for research communities that provides reliable answers to ethical questions, such as data protection,” said Co-Spokesperson for the consortium from the WZB, Dr. Maja Adena.
KonsortSWD is planned to start operating in October 2020. “We would like to actively support all those who use data in scientific areas,” added Christof Wolf, “and are therefore open for further ideas to expand the infrastructure”.