KonsortSWD Becomes Part of New National Research Data Infrastructure

The German Joint Science Conference has announced its decision to fund the Consortium for the Social, Behavioural, Educational, and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD) as a founding consortium of the National Research Data Infrastructure. One of the partners is ZPID.

"As part of the RatSWD Consortium, we are very pleased to contribute the perspective of psychology and thus expand the spectrum of disciplines covered by the NFDI to include the behavioral sciences," says ZPID Director Prof. Dr. Michael Bosnjak.

At its recent meeting, the Joint Science Conference (GWK) announced the funding of nine consortia within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). KonsortSWD represents the social, behavioral, educational, and economic sciences and builds on a growing network of research data centers (FDZ). This enables researchers to analyze even sensitive personal data, e.g., from official statistical sources.

KonsortSWD is directly linked to the work of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and will develop and expand corresponding services together with the RatSWD within the NFDI. 

As spokesperson of the consortium, Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf said: "We are delighted to be able to establish a research-friendly data infrastructure for the social, behavioral, educational, and economic sciences and to contribute to the NFDI." 

Wolf is President of GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, which submitted the application for this consortium together with the DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education, the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), the Qualiservice research data center at the University of Bremen, the eLabour research data center at the Sociological Research Institute Göttingen at Georg-August University (SOFI), the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW), and the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information (ZPID).

KonsortSWD is supported in its work by 39 research data centers, 15 professional societies, seven specialist information services, eight ethics committees, and the Leibniz Association. "The mission of KonsortSWD," explains Prof. Regina T. Riphahn, Ph.D., Chairperson of RatSWD, "is to strengthen, expand, and deepen the infrastructure for research on society and the economy. This will support research on topics such as demographic change, migration and integration, innovation, financial market stability, labor, education, populism and democracy."

In addition, cross-cutting issues are also addressed across the entire NFDI. "As a very important task, KonsortSWD will support the scientific communities in establishing ethical standards for data collection and research. We are particularly interested in providing an infrastructure for researchers that will give solid answers to ethical questions, for example, those pertaining to data collection", says co-speaker of the consortium Maja Adena from the WZB. 

KonsortSWD is scheduled to begin its work in October 2020. "We would like to actively support all people using data in our scientific fields," adds Christof Wolf, "and therefore we would like to encourage you to send us your ideas and suggestions for the expansion of the infrastructure."