German Data Forum

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12 April 2018 638 reads







About the German Data Forum 

Established in 2004, the German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten, RatSWD) is an independent council. It advises the German federal government and the federal states (Länder) in matters concerning the research data infrastructure for the empirical social, behavioural, and economic sciences. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has 16 members. Membership consists of eight elected representatives of the social, behavioural, and economic sciences and eight appointed representatives of Germany’s most important data producers.

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) offers a forum for dialogue between researchers and data producers, who jointly issue recommendations and position papers. The council furthers the development of a research infrastructure that provides researchers with flexible and secure access to a broad range of data. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has accredited 31 research data centres and fosters their interaction and collaboration.


Research data infrastructures in Germany are embedded into European and international structures that facilitate access to high qualitative research data. In the empirical social, behavioural and economic sciences, barriers to cross-national analysis, such as data protection regulations, are one of the key challenges in this context. The RatSWD is committed to better connecting the German research data infrastructure with European and global actors and to increasing its visibility.

As an international and interdisciplinary platform, the RDA addresses these issues on a global scale. Its aim is to jointly create the conditions required for the exchange of research data across national borders. It is a bottom-up initiative based on a broad and interdisciplinary participation of the research community. That is why the RatSWD has been engaged in the RDA since its foundation.

The RatSWD has been an organisational member of the RDA since February 2015 and channels the subject-specific expertise of the German research data landscape into the RDA’s work. By doing so, the RatSWD ensures that the perspectives of the social, behavioural and economic situation in Germany are taken into account in the context of international developments.


OA Member

Mathias Bug
Director of the Business Office, German Data Forum, Germany

Mathias Bug has been managing director of the German Data Forum’s business office in Berlin since June 2017. After working as a research associate at the Universität der Bundeswehr München and the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin), the social scientist most recently worked as a researcher for the Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs at the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.