Research Data Management

Woche 1 (16.-20. September 2019)

Dozenten: Dr. Anja Perry; Oliver Watteler; Vincent Ssennono


Dr. Anja Perry joined the GESIS Data Archive in 2016 and works in data acquisition. From 2012 until 2016 she worked for the German PIAAC research team at GESIS and was responsible for archiving and distributing the German PIAAC data. Anja completed her PhD thesis “Decision Making in Innovation and Entrepreneurship” at the Max Planck Institute of Economics and DFG Graduate College „The Economics of Innovative Change” at the University of Jena in 2010. After that she worked for the German Federal Statistical Office. Her research interests are data sharing and the use of standardized metadata like DDI.

Oliver Watteler joined the joined the GESIS Data Archive in 1999. Since 2006 he is in charge of data acquisition and helped set up the new system of data services over the past three years. His main working area is research data management with a strong focus on legal issues especially data protection. Oliver holds a Master’s Degree in History, Political Sciences and Philosophy. His research interests are data sharing and data protection in humans-subject research.



Re-use of research data becomes increasingly important in social science research. Not only is replicability of research data and research findings considered an integral part of good scientific practice. More and more research funders require active data management to ensure that data is of high quality and can be re-used by researchers for new research purposes.

The re-usability of research data hinges on a number of factors, including the way the data is processed but also how relevant legal and ethical aspects such as copyright and data protection are addressed. Researchers thus have to ensure that no legal barriers to re-using the data exist and that re-use of the data is not hindered by messy, sloppily documented data. Both - addressing legal issues and generating clean and well-documented research data - are prerequisites of re-usability and sharing as this enables others researchers to re-use and understand the data in the context of their own research purposes. 

The workshop helps researchers ensure that their research data is re-usable and can be safely made available to others - both for the purpose of research replication and for re-use in new contexts. For this purpose the workshop focuses on data collection and sharing, as well as on basic concepts of data cleaning and data documentation.



Participants should be experienced in working with quantitative research data and be well-versed in using one of the main statistical software packages, such as Stata, SPSS or R.



Participants will find the course useful if:

  • are social science researchers at an early stage of study planning or data collection, working with quantitative data (principal investigators, researchers who are part of project teams, individual researchers and PhD students):
  • are faced with challenges related to data protection, data cleaning and documentation and have little experience in dealing with them so far;
  • aim to share their data for re-use after the end of the research project and/or want to learn how to ensure reproducibility of their research findings.



By the end of the course participants will:

  • have gained a basic understanding of research data management in social science research within the larger data lifecycle;
  • be familiar with techniques of data cleaning and data documentation, as well as preparing their data for re-use
  • be aware of ethical and legal challenges to data sharing resulting from data protection regulations and intellectual property rights
  • be familiar with applying re-use licenses to their data.