At DIPF, the Research Data Education Alliance (VerbundFDB) and the Research Data Centre for Education (FDZ Bildung) store scientific data and prepare them for the purpose of re-usage, offering educational researchers a reliable repository for the data they have assessed. DIPF researchers are not only engaged in making data available but also in assessing research data themselves, e.g. pertaining to large-scale studies such as NEPS, PISA or PIAAC.
Together with the project partners GESIS – Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences and the Institute for Educational Quality Improvement (IQB) and a network of other research data centres in education, DIPF collaborates in the Research Data Alliance. VerbundFDB aims to establish services for empirical educational researchers in order to secure generated research data and make them available for re-usage, in adherence to given limitations. A federated research data infrastructure has therefore been designed, which is continually being updated and developed.
VerbundFDB presents a portal, www.forschungsdaten-bildung.de offering the following services:
- Secure storage of research data in a protected environment ,
- Lawful provision of research data and research instruments,
- central access to information and search options on available studies and data
- Qualification, training and counselling on aspects of data management.
Educational researchers are thus provided with a central access point for services related to research data. The underlying “distributed archiving“ model implies that research data scientists submit to the Alliance are transferred to a research data centre that is best suited for the respective type of data. A subject-specific documentation, archiving and provision of the data is thus assured.
Subject to the Alliance (VerbundFDB), the Research Data Centre for Education (FDZ) Bildung at DIPF is responsible for qualitative data and assessment instruments from quantitative studies.
The Research Data Centre for Education at DIPF is a central access point for qualitative empirical educational researchers – audiovisual research data (e. g. video recordings of observed lessons) are archived here and made available, as well as textual research data (e.g. transcripts of observed lessons or of guided interviews). FDZ Bildung moreover provides and indexes assessment instruments (questionnaires, scales and tests) from quantitative research. FDZ Bildung offers relevant datasets and instruments for secondary use in compliance with data protection and copyright regulations, together with contextual information regarding the pertinent studies and relevant publications. FDZ Bildung has (so far) a thematic focus on instruments and datasets from research on school and instructional quality. The Research Data Centre at DIPF currently offers more than 2,000 video and audio files, circa 2,500 text documents (e. g. transcripts) and more than 8,000 scales, 30,000 questionnaire items and more than 1,000 test tasks.
Working on many projects, researchers at DIPF generate research data themselves. DIPF is, for example, engaged in conceptualizing and analysing national and international assessments of student achievement, i.e. large-scale assessments, panel studies and other social scientific assessments, for example Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), PIAAC and NEPS. Large-scale video studies are likewise run by DIPF researchers to gain insights into lesson processes, such as the TALIS video study for Germany.
Whenever data that have been assessed at DIPF can potentially be re-used and ethical and legal conditions are met (such as the protection of individual testee rights), the data and pertinent documentations are made available for re-usage.
Research data are a strategic priority at DIPF: following its two areas of work, research and information in education, DIPF is unique in bringing together competencies from the disciplines of education science, computer science and information science. Subject to VerbundFDB and FDZ Bildung, DIPF provides valuable sustainable services to educational researchers. In future, a service node for educational researchers is planned in the course of an institutionalisation of VerbundFDB, conceptual further development of federated archiving, counselling services and archiving as well as provision of qualitative data and instruments.