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Data for the future: The German Data Forum (RatSWD) sets work priorities for three years

In its 8th appointment period (2023-2026), the German Data Forum (RatSWD) will focus on solutions for making different types of data available and linking them. Five working groups will develop recommendations on health data, data for crises, company data, policy data and a data trustee model for science. Three task forces will also deal with specific cross-cutting issues. The German Data Forum will closely involve the research community in all activities.

RatSWD Arbeitsprogramm 2023-2026In its recently published strategic agenda for the 8th appointment period (2023-2026), the German Data Forum (RatSWD) defines nine permanent tasks with which it sharpens its role as an advisory board to the Federal Government within the Consortium for Social, Behavioural, Educational and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD). The RatSWD’s advisory portfolio, which is aimed at both political stakeholders and the scientific community, includes issues of data access and data infrastructure as well as their further development. In particular, it is committed to the Research Data Act planned by the German government.

Five working groups (WG) will work on the thematic priorities of the 8th appointment period of the RatSWD. The working group on data trustees for science will discuss the consolidation of databases. Another working group will deal with the diverse spectrum of health data. The working group on the development and utilisation of company data for science will investigate suitable framework conditions for cooperation between science and industry. Both working groups will develop publications in the RatSWD Output Series, publish statements and organise workshops.

The Data Infrastructures in Crises working group is supporting a project based at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB) and will develop an online information tool on crisis-relevant data as part of this project. In addition, a collection of survey instruments on vulnerability, preparedness and resilience in crises and a short module for placement in an established panel survey will be developed. The aim of the policy data working group is to publish event documentation and a position paper on the potential of data from the parliamentary sphere for the disciplines represented in the RatSWD. Information on the activities of the working groups during the appointment period can be found on the RatSWD website.

In addition, three task forces on the topics of politics and law, international affairs and research ethics will meet on an ad hoc basis.

Complete Strategic Agenda of the 8th appointment period of the German Data Forum (RatSWD)


The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has been advising the German federal government and the governments of the German states on questions of research data infrastructure for the empirical social, behavioural and economic sciences since 2004. In the RatSWD, ten representatives of the social, behavioural and economic disciplines, legitimised by election, work together with ten representatives of data production.

The RatSWD is part of the Consortium for the Social, Behavioural, Educational and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD) in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). It sees itself as an institutionalised forum for dialogue between science and data producers and develops recommendations and statements. In doing so, it is committed to an infrastructure that provides science with broad, flexible and secure access to data. These data are provided by governmental, science-based and private-sector actors. Currently, the RatSWD has accredited 41 research data centres and promotes their cooperation.