ForSynData – Guidelines for FAIR and Reusable Research Syntheses in Psychology and Educational Science

The project aims to standardise the documentations of research synthesis types and the thus generated heterogeneous data. This will promote a sustainable archiving in research data centres and improve the reproducibility and reusability of such data.

Project Description

Research syntheses are an increasingly used method in educational and behavioural sciences to gain an evidence-based overview of relevant aspects or topics. Evidence is due to the complete and systematic assessment and selection of relevant publications and structured synthesis of findings from literature. A multitude of approaches has been developed in this context occasionally involving AI tools. The project targets a standardization of the documentation of research syntheses and resulting heterogeneous data.

On the one hand, the project addresses researchers acting as data suppliers who are in need of support for transparent documentation and processing of FAIR data. Researchers will also be enabled to reuse other scientists’ research synthesis data. Research data thus need to be researchable so they can be assessed according to individual needs and used in the individual research settings.

ForSynData also addresses research data centres that curate and make available data in educational science and psychology and act as intermediaries between data givers – suppliers – and users of research syntheses.

The project is subdivided into four work packages that are coequally processed and run by DIPF and ZPID which focuses on research syntheses from psychology while DIPF focuses on syntheses from education.

First of all, a heuristic analysis will serve to assess relevant research syntheses from both disciplines – based on existing classifications found in the literature relating to different types. Reproducibility is checked. Criteria for reproducibility are geared towards research synthesis guidelines and the FAIR principles. The developed guidelines will be presented to focus groups of experts for evaluation purposes. Focus is placed on the comprehensibility of guidelines and the implementation of documentations with respect to assessing potentials of reusability – i.e. assessment of needs and data quality. Necessary metadata standards will be prepared for the final guidelines to sustainably curate research syntheses. Processing and documentation of guidelines will be linked to a close cooperation of staff at the research data centres involved. The metadata will be aligned to existing research data management standards – linking up to work by KonsortSWD, “Linking Textual Data”, “Open Data Format” and the NFDI section in charge of metadata. The final work package addresses an evaluation of processes for data publication and reusage involving research data centres as data curators and researchers as data suppliers of data and data users.

Project Objectives

ForSynData is concerned with three challenges of curating research syntheses data: the Heterogeneity of different types of research synthesis data, making available data in different formats and the use of semi-automated systems (AI tools) where in the case of research syntheses new data emerge regarding results, analyses and processes.

On the one hand, a standardised documentation of different types of research syntheses and their data is developed in order to make these data available in terms of a fair reusage. The project’s output will consist of a guideline for research data centres and researchers alike – similar to STAMP (Standardisierter Datenmanagementplan für die Bildungsforschung. Standardised data management plan for educational research). On the other hand, the project will assess the potential for reusing different research syntheses in educational and behavioural sciences in order to facilitate reusage. A framework model will be designed for research data centres to curate research synthesis data – facilitating sharing by uniform bibliographic data so that search and usage of research data is simplified – comparable to initiatives that offer portals for standardized preregistration and documentation of research synthesis data.


Konsort SWD (DFG)


Dr. Tanja Burgard, Leibniz-Institut für Psychologie (ZPID)

Project Management

Dr. Tamara Heck

Project Team

Nadeshda Jung

Project Details

Current project
Area of Focus Open Science
Department: Information Centre for Education
Education Sector: Science
01/2024 - 09/2025
External funding
Contact: Dr. Tamara Heck, Head of Unit