The Research Data Center LIfBi (Forschungsdatenzentrum, FDZ-LIfBi) is primarily responsible for the user-friendly preparation of survey and test data of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and its cost-free dissemination to researchers in the form of Scientific Use Files. Also data from other projects such as ReGES are hosted by the FDZ-LIfBi. The necessary processes of data editing range from checking incoming data packages, integrating them into standardized data formats, coding open entries, generating additional variables and data sets, anonymizing sensitive content, and linking of the data with appropriate metadata. The FDZ-LIfBi also provides comprehensive documentation of the data material in German and English and ensures secure and flexible data access via several options (download, remote, on-site).
The Research Data Center also offers comprehensive services related to LIfBi's data portfolio. These include the contract and authorization management, the regular data trainings and workshops, the annual NEPS conference, the semi-annual newsletter "LIfBi data", the collection of video tutorials, the online discussion forum "Forum4MICA" and several tools. The FDZ-LIfBi is the first point of contact for questions and problems regarding data usage. For example, it supports the linking of regional data with the available Scientific Use Files and advises on data protection regulations.
The FDZ-LIfBi became accredited as a Research Data Center by the German Data Forum (RatSWD) in 2012 and has since been actively involved in the Committee for Data Access. As part of the quality assurance, it demonstrates compliance with the criteria of FAIR data provision and data access in an annual monitoring. The FDZ-LIfBi also cooperates with the RatSWD's complaints office, to which data users can turn in case of problems that cannot be solved directly.
Further partnerships of the FDZ-LIfBi exist with the German Network of Educational Research Data, the Research Data Center of the German Federal Employment Agency at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) with respect to the joint data product NEPS-ADIAB, the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE) with respect to the co-administered TAEPS study, and the Consortium for the Social, Behavioral, Educational and Economic Sciences in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) with respect to several projects.