About the Research Data Centre of the RISC

The Research Data Centre of the RISC fulfils a variety of functions:

Data production and management

  •     Coordination of the longitudinal study Cohesion Panel
  •     Support for RISC data collection projects
  •     Archiving of all quantitative RISC data
  •     Archiving of qualitative RISC data at QUALISERVICE
  •     Development of a data management concept


  •     Development of a system of indicators to capture the central aspects and determinants of social cohesion
  •     Data analysis and regular reporting

Data portal

  •     Development of a metadata database of all empirical data collected in the RISC
  •     Distribution of the quantitative data collected in the RISC
  •     Provision of central indicators of social cohesion

General Information

Data portal and data management

The RDC-RISC supports the research of all sections of the RISC as well as external research by establishing a portal to available data relevant for empirical analysis on issues of social cohesion.

This includes data collected outside the RISC as well as data collected within the RISC. Thus, the data center also takes central obligations of archiving and providing data collected within the RISC for secondary analyses. In doing so, the RISC is guided by the recommendations of the Council for Social and Economic Data on "securing and making data available for secondary analytical use by handing them over to a research data infrastructure institution", thus combining the demand for the greatest possible transparency and accessibility of data in the sense of public science with high standards of data protection and research ethics.

The collection of relevant existing data sets is done in coordination with the research topics of the sections. These feed important data sets of their research areas into the  data portal of the RDC-RISC. In addition to the development of a secondary data portal, a central service of the RDC-RISC is the archiving and dissemination of the data collected in the RISC. This includes a separate data management concept.

Data collection strategy

In the RDC-RISC, the various surveys are coordinated and integrated in the sense of a common data infrastructure.

The data collection strategy of the RDC-RISC is, analogous to the research strategy, characterized by a combination of decentralized standardized and non-standardized data collections in individual projects, cooperatively organized standardized and non-standardized surveys of several locations (e.g. regional panel, qualitative household panel, [social] media observatory) and a central survey.


Monitoring social cohesion

A central goal of the RDC-RISC is to arrive at a monitoring of societal cohesion based on the theoretical concepts developed and data obtained in the research and transfer projects.

This requires the development of a system of indicators that is able to capture central aspects, dimensions and determinants of social cohesion. In doing so, the RDC-RISC can build on studies and projects that have already been carried out to a large extent by sections, such as the Bielefeld Studies on Group-Related Xenophobia, the Leipzig Center Studies, the Bertelsmann Foundation's Social Cohesion Radar, or the social indicator panels for measuring quality of life in the context of national and international comparative social reporting and Quality of Life research.