Making research data accessible

Often – far too often! – research data is stored only locally and temporarily. This is how real treasure troves of data are lost. This is going to change soon.

Verkabelung in Labor; © Adobe Stock / JackF

Adobe Stock / JackF

In recent years, the BMBF has launched several initiatives to make these very treasures available for the use of all disciplines. The National Research Data Infrastructure, for example, is intended to create a knowledge repository for the entire research landscape.

Digitisation offers great opportunities for research and education. Therefore, research data infrastructures need to be established and expanded and, at the same time, research data needs to be managed professionally – from collection to indexing, and from utilization to archiving.

While social science research, as well as language-related and text-related research, can access a well-developed digital data base, this still needs to be created for other areas, for example, by means of the digitisation of holdings in collections and archives (more on this at eHeritage) . It also aims to improve access to and the use of qualitative and quantitative data for the humanities and social sciences.

The aim of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is to integrate the infrastructures already established in the humanities and social sciences into a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) and to embed them in the European context. The BMBF thus complies with the recommendations of the Council for Information Infrastructures (“Rat für Informationsinfrastrukturen”/rfii) jointly appointed by the Federal Government and the Federal States. The NFDI offers the opportunity to work in an international comparison and to share resources. It supports the interdisciplinary research of pressing social questions on an empirical basis, and thus also the efficiency and innovativeness of Germany as a research location.

Definition of research infrastructures:

Unter Forschungsinfrastrukturen werden Einrichtungen, Anlagen, Ressourcen und Dienstleistungen verstanden, die von Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern aller wissenschaftlich-technologischen Gebiete für die Forschung benötigt werden. Darunter fallen:

Research infrastructures are defined as facilities, installations, resources and services that are needed by scientists for research in all scientific and technological fields. This includes:

  • Large devices or instruments for research purposes;

  • Knowledge resources such as collections, archives, structured information or data processing systems;

  • e-Infrastructures such as data, networked computer systems and services;

  • Other facilities used for academic research with unique selling points.

Source: https://www.eubuero.de/infra-definition.htm