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About us

 

Organisation and structure |
Objectives and tasks | Background and development |
 | Other research data centres and service centres

 

Organisation and structure

Following a request from the German Data Forum's founding committee, the German statistical offices have established two Research Data Centres. With their complementary activities and structures, the Research Data Centre of the Federal Statistical Office and the Research Data Centre of the Statistical Offices of the federal states are to meet the data requirements of empirical researchers. Working in close collaboration, the Research Data Centres offer a coordinated and continuously enhanced range of services for the scientific use of official German microdata.

 

Objectives and tasks

he main objective of the Research Data Centres of the Federal Statistical Office and the Statistical Offices of the federal states is to manage and improve access to official German microdata and their possible uses. Therefore, different ways of data access have been implemented. A crucial requirement for achieving the objective is to generally improve the data infrastructure by organising it on a regional basis and implementing a functionally centralised data storage system for selected statistics.

 

Functionally centralised data storage

In Germany, the majority of official statistics are compiled in a decentralised manner by the Statistical Offices of the federal states: they gather, process and store more than 90% of all official microdata. However, as scientific analyses usually relate to more than one federal state or to the whole federal territory, the Research Data Centres of the Statistical Offices of the Federation and the federal states have implemented a functionally centralised data storage system. This allows official microdata from every federal state to be provided and used in all regional locations of both Research Data Centres.

Regionalised infrastructure

As part of a new infrastructure for data provision, the Research Data Centres offer, among other things, de-facto anonymised microdata for use in a safe centre inside the statistical offices which is a form of on-site use. As all federal states and the Federation have safe centres, extensive access for researchers can be guaranteed.

 

Background and development

During the last few years, there has been an intense discussion in Germany about researchers' access to official microdata. Commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Commission on the Improvement of the Informational Infrastructure between Research and Statistics (KVI) in 1999 developed various proposals for improving the interrelations between researchers and statistics. One of the central recommendations of this commission was to set up as soon as possible research data centres on the premises of the public data producers.
This recommendation was taken up by the statistical offices. In autumn 2001, the Research Data Centre of the Federal Statistical Office was established. In April 2002, the Research Data Centre of the Statistical Offices of the federal states followed as joint pilot project.
With their two Research Data Centres, the German statistical offices have been intensifying their efforts to make official microdata accessible for scientific purposes. In the start-up phase, both projects were funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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Contact

Here you will find information regarding contact persons and locations.

 

Further research data centres and service centres

Based on the KVI expert report and the recommendation of the founding committee of the German Data Forum, further research data centres and service centres have been and are being established.

An overview on further research data centres and service centres can be found on the homepage of the German Data Forum.

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