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RatSWD launches “Best-Practice Research Ethics” portal

With the website "Best Practices in Research Ethics", the German Data Forum (RatSWD) provides a new service for users from research, studies, and teaching. The website "Best Practices in Research Ethics" is a cross-disciplinary offer on the topic of research ethics in the research process with a focus on social science research, which meets the high demand for information in this area.

The new portal provides researchers, students, teachers and members of ethics committees with structured access to relevant information and templates on research ethics from research institutions, professional societies and funding bodies. This includes discipline-specific ethics guidelines and information on good scientific practice as well as guidelines from professional societies on archiving and subsequent use of research data. Case studies and practice-relevant handouts such as checklists for the preparation of informed consent are also accessible. The collection supports researchers, members of ethics committees and teachers in the conception and ethical assessment of research projects as well as the implementation of the topic in academic education.

The website “Best Practice in Research Ethics” was set up by the Research Ethics Working Group of the RatSWD. It is a response to the results of a survey of researchers and ethics committees that it initiated in spring 2021, which revealed a great need for support services. This exists because international scientific journals and donors are increasingly demanding research ethics reviews of research projects. This is to ensure that possible risks for participants or society are excluded or only minimal. The RatSWD is thus continuing its activities in the area of research ethics, which are already set out in the recommendations of the RatSWD formulated in 2017, among other things.

The collection “Best Practice in Research Ethics” is an open and expandable offer and invites the research community to participate. The RatSWD office accepts suggestions for other materials that are already available and can be made accessible via the best practice website.


The German Data Forum (RatSWD) advises the federal government and the governments in the federal states on expanding and improving the research data infrastructure for the empirical social, behavioural and economic sciences since 2004. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) is made up of ten elected representatives from the social, behavioural, and economic disciplines who work together with ten representatives from key data producers.

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) is part of the Consortium for Social, Behavioural, Educational, and Economic sciences (KonsortSWD) in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). It acts as an institutionalised forum for dialogue between science and data producers, as well as developing recommendations and opinions. It is committed to supporting an infrastructure that enables sciences to have broad, flexible, and secure data access. These data are provided by state, science-based, and private-sector actors. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has currently accredited 41 research data centres (as of June 2022), and encourages their cooperation.