Published December 31, 2020 | Version This version reflects revisions to the proposal to adjust to the amount of funding approved
Proposal Open

Consortium for the Social, Behavioural, Educational, and Economic Sciences (KonsortSWD)

  • 1. Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB)
  • 2. Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsverläufe (LIfBi)
  • 3. DIPF | Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsforschung und Bildungsinformation
  • 4. Leibniz-Zentrum für Psychologische Information und Dokumentation (ZPID)
  • 5. Universität Duisburg-Essen (UDE)
  • 6. Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DZHW)
  • 7. RatSWD - Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten
  • 8. Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft (ZBW)
  • 9. Sozio-oekonomisches Panel (SOEP) am Deutschen Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW)
  • 10. Forschungsdatenzentrum Qualiservice der Universität Bremen
  • 11. GESIS - Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
  • 12. Forschungsdatenzentrum eLabour am Soziologischen Forschungsinstitut Göttingen der Georg-August-Universität (SOFI)
  • 13. Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


The social, behavioural, educational, and economic sciences offer indispensable perspectives and responses to the grand societal challenges the world is facing today. In addressing these challenges, the disciplines represented in KonsortSWD work with a range of different data types. These data are typically sensitive due to legal or ethical constraints and they are frequently generated for non-scientific purposes.

KonsortSWD aims to support the research data management (RDM) needs of its communities, which increasingly collaborate in multi- and interdisciplinary research projects. The (co-)applicant institutions bring their long-standing experience in operating community-driven research data infrastructures to the NFDI.

Our mission is to develop – strengthen, widen, deepen – a research data infrastructure for the study of human society. This effort is to be primarily user-driven and addresses the needs of our research communities. The core of KonsortSWD’s RDM strategy is to provide researchers and research data centres (RDCs) with the tools and services they need for managing and sharing (new) sensitive and non-sensitive data in compliance with the FAIR principles. This includes supporting sustainable RDM in all phases of the research data lifecycle and securing data accessibility with an awareness of ethical and legal aspects.

KonsortSWD will increase efficiency in RDM processes by coordinating

·        data producers with technical expertise to simplify sustainable RDM throughout the data lifecycle,

·        a growing infrastructure of currently 34 accredited RDCs with 3,940 datasets, 46,000 data users, and a staff of 285 full time-equivalents (in 2018),

·        the German Data Forum (RatSWD), where data users and producers jointly facilitate access to research data,

·        a forum for ethical reflection to support researchers and their institutions and to discuss and disseminate standards for data-driven, high quality research on human subjects up to entire societies.

KonsortSWD combines a multi-stakeholder approach with transparent governance: a Steering Committee is in charge of operations, an Advisory Board with elected community representatives provides strategic feedback, and a Consortial Conference helps to disseminate KonsortSWD’s services and to collect feedback. The Task Areas (TAs) focus on: (1) Community Participation. (2) Data Access, (3) Data Production, (4) Research (Data) Ethics, and (5) Technical Solutions.



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