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Connecting empirical social science research in societal crises

RatSWD working group in the 7th appointment period (2020–2023)

The starting point for this working group was the outbreak of the Corona pandemic in spring 2020 and the emergence of a large number of projects and initiatives that empirically record the social impact of the pandemic and how to combat it. Since then, the RatSWD Office has been collecting information on social, behavioural, educational and economic studies and initiatives to empirically research the Corona pandemic.
The collection revealed that recurring themes of the RatSWD such as data quality, interoperability between the different projects and a concept for research data management were at best sporadically thought through in the projects.

The aim of this working group is to initiate networking and interoperability of social, behavioural, educational and economic research projects across methodological boundaries and thus to support the quality assurance of research data and the change in data culture, even in small ad hoc research projects. Planned results are the establishment and continuation of the database on the RatSWD website and the publication and communication of a standard questionnaire to enable interoperability between studies. In addition, a concept for a contact point for national and international exchange is to be developed in order to connect researchers in societal crises. The results of the working group will be published in the RatSWD Output Series and implemented through workshops and presentations at expert conferences.

In response to the Russian attack on Ukraine in February 2022 and the associated emergence of another crisis with enormous political, economic and societal impacts, the working group has broadened its focus to include the topic of the Ukraine war and refugee movements to Germany. A coordination meeting was organised with researchers from migration research and comparative survey research, and subsequently a collection of studies was created that empirically record the social effects of the Ukraine war. In this way, a further contribution is to be made to the netwo of researchers in societal crises.

The working group is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as part of the project “Best_FDM” (Better results through interoperability and standardised research data management: networking empirical social science research in social crises) with the identifier 01UW2000.

  • Format: Working group of German Data Forum (RatSWD) members of the 6th and 7th appointment periods
  • Objective: connect empirical social science research in societal crises
  • Output: establishment of a database, conceptualisation of a contact point for national and international exchange, publication of recommendations in the German Data Forum (RatSWD) Output Series, and begin first steps to implement results
  • Time frame: start: December 2020, standard questionnaire: Spring 2022, publication of results and recommendations in the RatSWD output series: Winter 2022/2023, implementation and finalization phase until November 202.