The Alliance of German Science Organisations defines research data as data “that are created in the course of scientific projects, through digitisation, basic research, experiments, measurements, surveys or interviews”. Research Data Management (RDM) includes methodological, conceptual, organisational and technical measures and procedures for handling research data.
In economics, it is becoming a practice for researchers to make their data available for reuse. This so-called Data Sharing offers significant advantages:
- Expensive collection procedures and duplicate efforts can be avoided.
- The transparency of scholarly knowledge-creation processes can be increased.
- Knowledge-creation processes can be accelerated through collaboration.
An essential basis for research data management are suitable infrastructures. Research data infrastructures make it possible
- to store, search for, and access research data,
- to reuse data for one’s own research projects,
- to verify the robustness of published scholarly findings.
Various ZBW projects are working towards
- building federated research data infrastructures,
- promoting the sharing of research data,
- the reproducibility of research findings,
- Open Science practices and data literacy.
The ZBW is a competent partner for economic research data and their corresponding technologies. The ZBW is an active driver in an international network of research data actors in the context of data literacy, infrastructure and policy making.
National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)
The National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) aims to ensure the systematic management, long-term preservation, and accessibility of data across disciplines and countries according to the FAIR principles. The ZBW participates in the following consortia until 2026:
FAIR Data Spaces
Access to a common cloud-based data space for science and business – that is the declared goal of FAIR Data Spaces. The FAIR Data Spaces project, initiated in 2021, aims to link Gaia-X and the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) by means of a demonstrator domain, creating a pilot dataspace for industry and research in compliance with the FAIR principles.
More about FAIR Data Spaces
da | ra
Research data are registered with a unique identification number, a so-called Persistent Identifier such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), to make them permanently identifiable and citable. This is the prerequisite for rewarding researchers for their efforts in data processing with a citation of the dataset, as it is currently done with citing publications.
In Germany, the registration agency da|ra organises the assignation of DOI names for datasets from economics and the social sciences. The agency is operated by the ZBW jointly with GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Science.
Journal of Comments and Replications in Economics (JCRE)
Journal of Comments and Replications in Economics (JCRE) is a journal for replication studies in emprical economics.
ZBW Journal Data Archive
The ZBW Journal Data Archive is a service for editors of scholarly journals in economics. They can deposit datasets and other materials of empirical articles and make them available to support the traceability and reproducibility of published research findings.
Academic Career Kit
Toolkit for PhD students and Early Career Researchers in economics: the Academic Career Kit addresses management and sharing of research data. It covers the topics of “Data Management”, “Find Existing Data”, “Collect and Store Data” and “Publish and Share”.
Community dialogue “Research Data” of the Economic Research Institutes within the Leibniz Association
Since 2021, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Economic Research Institutes within the Leibniz Association, and the ZBW are in operative exchange on research data management.
The focus is on the strategic orientation regarding NFDI, European Open Science Cloud and GAIA-X, as well as the exchange on legal questions or questions regarding European developments such as the Data Governance Act. The ZBW has taken the role of consulting coordinator.
After three years’ groundwork, the GO FAIR Community has grown into a globally active network. The GO FAIR Community is an indispensable part of the international research data landscape as an important driver for the building of a global internet of FAIR Data and Services.
Online seminar: Good scientific practice and reproducible research with STATA
National and international research funders and journals in economics demand more and more often that data and analyses generated in projects and for publications should be made available publicly. This serves to ensure the reproducibility of published research findings on the one hand, and the reuse of the generated data on the other hand.
In these day-long workshops, the ZBW shows how to process analytic codes and data according to the guidelines of renowned journals. The ZBW gives an overview of the requirements made by the most important funders, journals and learned societies. Participants get practical training in how to ensure the reproducibility of their own empirical research and how to work more efficiently for themselves.
The online seminars are aimed primarily at master students and PhD candidates in economics who have just begun working on their thesis, work with quantitative data and use STATA as statistical software. The workshops show how reproducibility improves empirical research and how the increased demands for research integrity in economics can be met.
The director of the ZBW, Prof Dr Klaus Tochtermann, was accepted as a member of the Scientific Senate of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) in October 2022. The Scientific Senate is the body of the NFDI Association that is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the NFDI Association, taking into account the impact on the scientific system.
German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures
The German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII) is an advisory body for science policy which advises Federal and State governments in matters regarding scientific infrastructures. The NFDI has been created in consequence of an RfII initiative. Important impulses for data quality and skills developments for research data management have been given. Until the end of 2022 Professor Klaus Tochtermann, director of the ZBW, has been a member of the Council since its foundation and has headed various working groups.
The ZBW is a member of the Working Group “Federated IT Infrastructure” within the Priority Initiative “Digital Information” of the Alliance of German Science Organisations. The working group analyses the research data infrastructures NFDI and European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and has been one of the first actors to point out that NFDI and EOSC need to be closely aligned with the GAIA-X Initiative, a large project for business data, in order to create synergies between science and business.
European Open Science Cloud Association
The director of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Professor Klaus Tochtermann, has been elected on 17 December 2020 to the Board of Directors of the European Open Science Cloud Association for a term of three years. The German science community now has a long-time representative of the Open Science movement at the top of European science policy. The eight members of the Board of Directors of the European Open Science Cloud Association implement the decisions of the General Assembly and represent the most important body of the EOSC Association.