Forum4MICA is a publicly accessible exchange and information platform on topics related to the data collections of the participating Research Data Centers (RDC). Responsible for the development, administration and moderation of this online forum is the RDC of the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) in Bamberg.
Forum4MICA for Research Data Centers
The online forum gives RDCs an additional option for communicating with their data users and interested persons. It enables the provision of specifically requested information on the research data provided. Due to the general accessibility of this communication, the Forum4MICA at the same time serves as a constantly updated and expanded FAQ list. Recurring questions do not always have to be answered anew, as all contributions are stored in a structured manner via corresponding keywords/tags and can be retrieved at any time. The forum also offers a platform that facilitates active participation by researchers, e.g., by setting topics, commenting on postings, sharing one’s own expertise, and providing direct feedback to the RDCs. The exchange in the forum accumulates knowledge, but also promotes the visibility of the RDCs and their research data resources. Last but not least, RDC employees have access to an internal, non-public area in the Forum4MICA for discourses on common topics related to RDC work.
Forum4MICA for Researchers
The steadily growing amount of reusable data in the social, behavioral, educational, and economic sciences opens up a wide range of potentials for empirical research. The use of the sometimes quite complex data resources usually requires special knowledge. Although classic data documentation provides an important information basis for this, it cannot eliminate all uncertainties in the handling of the data. The newly implemented Forum4MICA gives researchers the opportunity to address their individual questions directly and transparently to the respective RDC and to exchange information with experts. The forum also promotes the dialogue between data users and explicitly includes their experiences. Another aspect is the sustainability of a knowledge archive that expands with each posting and in which relevant information is easy to find as well as permanently available. Active participation in the Forum4MICA requires a one-time registration by providing a name and a valid e-mail address.
The forum is open to the public as a beta version since February 2023.