New Competence Center Will Improve Data Quality in Social Science Research

Research results are heavily dependent on the quality of the underlying data. A new center aims to teach social scientists how to evaluate the quality of the data used by them. The Competence Center for Data Quality in the Social Sciences (KODAQS) will be established by GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, the University of Mannheim, and Ludwig-Maximilians-University München (LMU).

The aim of KODAQS is to promote the quality-assured use of data by providing researchers with innovative tools and extensive training services. KODAQS focuses on data from social science research. In addition to survey data, which are still predominantly used, this includes digital behavioral data and links between these and other data, such as geodata, for example.

The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with three million euros in total. 300,000 euros go to Mannheim. The project will run until November 2026. Professor Dr. Beatrice Rammstedt (GESIS), Professor Dr. Florian Keusch (University of Mannheim), and Professor Dr. Frauke Kreuter (LMU) will head the project.

“The KODAQS services will provide researchers of all experience levels with demand-driven support services to evaluate and analyze the quality of social research data. Only data of sufficient quality allow for reliable interpretations and conclusions,” says Keusch.

The pioneer project creates services for the quality-assured use of social science data. The services are designed for researchers in the field of Social Sciences, in particular, for pre- and post-doctoral researchers. The planned services include:

  • the Data Quality Academy, which uses digital and hybrid learning opportunities to teach researchers how to handle social science data in a quality-assured manner,
  • the Data Quality Toolbox, which offers analysis codes for calculating key quality indicators and support through learning and consulting services,
  • the DataFests, in which what has been learned is applied to the researchers’ own research in the form of hackathons,
  • guest stays at the three institutions, during which researchers can analyze the quality of their data together with project members as part of joint research projects.

Most of the in-person services will take place in Mannheim.