Start of work package 5

In mid-2020, work package 5 on the costs of research data management began, and on August 12, 2020, the GESIS team of the DDP project held an expert discussion with colleagues from within the institute.

Participants included staff from data curation as well as those who have regular contact with data providers. The goal of the discussion was to identify cost-relevant factors in research data management. Some of the GESIS experts had previously been involved in an internal project on costs of preparing and documenting studies.

In the expert’s view, researchers often do not include enough time and resources for data management in their planning. They identified so-called cost drivers which include mixed-methods procedures, weights, a high number of variables, filter questions, and insufficiently labeled data.

With regard to the activities of the DDP project, the experts recommended focusing on the re-usability of research data in order to emphasize the importance of this field more strongly and thus create awareness for the topic among researchers.

DDP at Open Science Conference 2020

The 7th International Open Science Conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science took place in Berlin on March 11-12, 2020. The annual conference is dedicated to developments in the field of Open Science and 2020 focused on topics such as innovations to support open science practices, their application, and acceptance in the scientific community, as well as the scientific benefits of Open Science and its impact on society. 

During the poster presentation on the first day of the conference, the collaborative project Domain Data Protocols for Empirical Educational Research in Germany was presented. Entitled “Supporting Researchers in Creating Data Management Plans”, the poster provided information about the project participants, the project plan, it’s funding, and duration, as well as the (planned) development of the Domain Data Protocols, their structure, and their use by different actors in the science system. The poster, provided with a CC-by 4.0 license, was published via the conference website after the event.

Overall, the poster was received with great interest by the participants. Comments were primarily related to the need to develop domain data protocols to facilitate research data management and to support researchers in generating open data in line with the FAIR-Data-Principles. Open questions were primarily related to the choice of discipline (educational research) and geographic coverage (Germany). In addition, the connectivity of the sample protocols to be developed for other data types and collection methods was addressed and the current project was discussed as a blueprint for implementing domain data protocols in other research disciplines. A key suggestion from participants related to the creation of a project website to provide future information about the project and its results.  The second day of the conference was cancelled due to a decree of the Berlin Science Senate of March 11, 2020, in the wake of the Corona crisis.

First DDP workshop with external experts

From January 29-30, 2020, the first expert workshop of the DDP project took place at GESIS in Cologne. The goal of the event was to identify requirements for domain data protocols (DDP) formulated by the research community.

Within the workshop, previous considerations and early results were discussed with experts in research and research data management. After a general introduction to the topic, participants shared their experience regarding research data management in small groups and then identified the topics that, from their point of view, are of particular importance for the development of DDPs. Participants were generally interested in the development of domain data protocols and in standardized solutions for the systematic documentation of research data management activities in particular. They emphasized the need for concrete definitions of various aspects of research data management and suggested to specify these by developing handouts and examples. 

Participants furthermore identified adequate documentation of data, data protection, and copyright, as well as archiving data for re-use, as particularly important topics, especially for junior researchers. In addition to internal project management and communication, they considered research data management as an important part of good scientific practice, i.e. the replicability of data and transparency in the research process. In addition to the inclusion of the aforementioned topics, DDPs should therefore be characterized by easy-to-understand language and contain information on the established requirements, especially for researchers with little professional experience. 

During the project, the research community will be involved in the development of the DDPs, e.g. with additional expert interviews as well as other forms of evaluations.

Early project meetings in 2019

In 2019, members of the DDP project met twice to discuss their first results and to agree on the next steps. The first meeting took place at DIPF | Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education in Frankfurt am Main and the second at the IQB | Institute for Educational Quality Improvement in Berlin. 

Both meetings were structured according to the same pattern. In addition to an introductory and a concluding part, each meeting comprised two very central discussion points: The basic concept of Science Europe and a DDP example for cross-sectional data. 

The goal of the two meetings was to expand the common understanding of the design of domain data protocols. Within this framework, the structure, content, and level of detail of the DDPs to be developed were discussed. In doing so, it was possible to identify elements of most relevant data types for empirical educational research as well as important discussion points for the further process.