YEAR 2020

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Jointly setting up a research-friendly data infrastructure: KonsortSWD funded


The Joint Science Conference of the Federal Government and the Länder (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) has today decided to provide funding for the Consortium for the Social, Behavioural, Educational, and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD), one of nine founding consortiums of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI).


In their meeting on June 26, 2020, the Joint Science Conference of the Federal Government and the Länder (Gemeinsame Wissenschaftskonferenz, GWK) announced that funding will be provided for nine consortiums within the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). KonsortSWD represents the social, behavioral, educational, and economic sciences and is based on a growing network of research data centers (RDCs). Researchers thus have the opportunity to analyze sensitive personal data, for example from official statistics. KonsortSWD seamlessly continues the important work of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and will develop and further expand research data infrastructure and related services together with the German Data Forum.

The speaker of the consortium, Prof. Dr. Christof Wolf, states: “We are extremely pleased to be able to set up a research-friendly data infrastructure for the social, behavioral, educational, and economic sciences and thus make our contribution to the NFDI.” Christof Wolf is President of GESIS–Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, which initiated the application for the consortium together with the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education (DIPF), 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 Sociological Research Institute Göttingen at Georg-August-Universität (SOFI), the Research Data Center Qualiservice at the University of Bremen, the University of Duisburg-Essen, Berlin Social Science Center (WZB), as well as the Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (ZBW).

“The possibility of coordinating and cooperating on an interdisciplinary level for the advancement of research data infrastructure presents us with a particularly worthy challenge, which the LIfBi is more than happy to be part of and contribute to”, comments Prof. Dr. Christian Aßmann, co-speaker of Konsort SWD. “This could create further opportunities of using research data as part of the NFDI, thus also opening up a multiplicity of research opportunities.”

The work of KonsortSWD is supported by 39 research data centers, 15 expert associations, seven specialized information services, eight ethics commissions, and the Leibniz Association.

“The mission of KonsortSWD”, according to Prof. Regina T. Riphahn, Ph.D., Chair of the German Data Forum, “is to strengthen, expand, and intensify infrastructure for investigations on society and economy. In this way, we are promoting research on subjects such as demographic change, migration and integration, innovation, stability of financial markets, employment, education, populism, and democracy.”

KonsortSWD is scheduled to start working in October 2020, “We would like to actively support all those who are using data in our academic fields”, explains Christof Wolf “and we are already inviting them to come up with further ideas on how we can extend our infrastructure even further.”

More on KonsortSWD and NFDI (external German link)

More on German Data Forum (external German link)