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Research data management

Securing and providing research data sustainably

The management of (research) data is playing an increasingly important role in the research process and is a central goal of the NFDI. Funding for research is increasingly linked to the demand for well-planned and sustainable data management based on so-called data management plans. Researchers should therefore ensure that their research data fulfils the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable) right from the planning stage and also during the implementation of their research.

The term research data management (RDM) describes all activities related to research data that occur along the so-called research data life cycle (see figure below). Research data management thus begins with data collection, primarily concerns good documentation during data processing (in particular analyses) and extends to the archiving of research data. The infrastructure of KonsortSWD, in particular the research data centres, provide support in various of these phases. Above all, research data centres provide findability, high-quality documentation including advice and (protected) access to archived data.

In the social, behavioural, educational and economic sciences, KonsortSWD provides researchers and research data centres with technical and content-related support in the management and reuse of (new) sensitive and non-sensitive data in accordance with the FAIR principles. The consortium builds on the RatSWD’s many years of expertise in the field of research data management, which regularly issues publications on the topic.

The implementation of the FAIR principles is a central instrument of quality assurance. To this end, KonsortSWD participates in the professional discussion on improving the “FAIRness” of research data. For example, tools are used to test the FAIRness of research data from our disciplines. The application of methods for a more efficient assessment of FAIRness is also of great relevance to the KonsortSWD disciplines.

Various offers from KonsortSWD contribute to the improvement of individual FAIR aspects

Findability (Auffindbarkeit)
Accessibility (Zugänglichkeit)
Interoperability (Interoperabilität)

Lifecycle of research data

Lifecycle of research data
Source: based on Forschungdaten.info and the UK Data Service

Overview of the German Data Forum's activities, resources, and work results on the topic of research data management:

RatSWD publications

Handouts & recommendations

Teaching materials for academic teaching

  • Research data management for small projects in the Social and Economic Sciences – RatSWD teaching slides for your own use in research and teaching
    RatSWD (2023). https://doi.org/10.17620/02671.85

Articles in the RatSWD Working Paper Series on the topic of research data management

Press releases

RatSWD working groups

Working group RDM Services for smaller research projects: Guide to cultural change (2020-2023)
The working group determined the subject-specific RDM needs of small research projects and, on this basis, developed a handout and a set of teaching slides to make doctoral candidates and students in particular aware of RDM at the beginning of their academic careers and to make it easier for them to get started with the topic.

Task force for handling large amounts of data (2017-2020)
A task force on handling large volumes of data in the RDCs consisting of members of the FDI Committee analyses the status quo in selected RDCs, identifies specific problems, collects possible solutions for these and develops options for action.

Working group on archiving and access to qualitative data (2017-2020)
The working group developed recommendations for the development of a federated, user-friendly archiving service for external data providers and for common quality standards for the (decentralised) archiving of research data.

Working group decentral archiving structure at research data centres (2017-2020)
The working group developed recommendations for the RatSWD-accredited research data centres (RDCs) on the development of a federated, user-friendly archiving service for external data providers and on common quality standards for the (decentralised) archiving of research data.

Research Data Management Task Force (2014-2017)
The Research Data Management Task Force of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and the FDI Committee develop comprehensive guidelines for the creation of research data management plans for the social, behavioural and economic sciences. Applicants and funders were provided with guidance and a harmonisation of data management plans was initiated. The results of the task force were published as RatSWD Output 3 (5) in June 2016.

RatSWD events and workshops

9th Conference on Social and Economic Data (9|KSWD) – Session C
27.–28. March 2023, Berlin
Session C of the 9|KSWD in March 2023, chaired by Prof Dr Christiane Gross and Prof Dr Jörg Strübing, dealt with the challenges of research data management for small projects. Participants were able to ask questions from their research practice, which were discussed jointly by experts. The presentations of the talks given in the session are available online.

RatSWD-Workshop “Archiving and access to qualitative data” [German]
27.–28. April 2018, Bremen
The RatSWD workshop evaluated previous experiences with the archiving of qualitative data, discussed fundamental problems of archiving and secondary analyses and identified requirements for an improved archiving infrastructure in qualitative research.

Conference on Social and Economic Data (7|KSWD)Forum I
09. February 2017, Berlin
The Research Data Management Forum at the 7th Conference on Social and Economic Data (7|KSWD) in February 2017, chaired by Prof Dr Stefan Liebig, dealt with the question of what further development steps are necessary in the field of research data management. The presentations given in the session are available online.