Guidelines of the Research Data Centre for Education - FDZ Bildung
"Quality-assured research data are fundamental to scientific knowledge and they can serve as a basis for research in many ways, independent from their original assessment purpose." 
According to a currently defined desideratum in research infrastructures, the research data centre (FDZ Bildung) focuses its service on qualitative data, i.e. audio and audiovisual data and their numeric-textual analysis and documentation materials. A second priority is placed on processing and making available assessment instruments from quantitative surveys in school quality research at the level of questionnaires, scales and items and respective statistical indicators.
As a central access point for empirical educational research regarding archiving and provision of audio-visual and audio research data (AV data), assessment instruments (questionnaires and tests) and a comprehensive scales documentation, FDZ Bildung is guided by the following principles.
Accessibility and visibility
- FDZ Bildung targets the user-friendly design of access to research data and possible secondary usage for qualified scientists while simultaneously assuring the rights of participants in studies (protection of personal rights) as well as the rights of data providers (copyright).
- Principally, FDZ Bildung offers an online service that is openly accessible. Services are exempt from free access if they are subject to special protection requirements (e.g. personal data and test task solutions). Access and usage procedures are subject to transparent, standardized regulations. This also means that no application for access to protected contents will be preferably treated for content or other reasons. The semi-automated application procedure is user-friendly and free of charge.
- A user-friendly presentation and provision of research data material and active promotion of the service and means of access in the science community add to an increased visibility, transparency in research contexts and re-usage of available data.
Transparency and completeness
- FDZ Bildung regards comprehensive contextualizing as a basic condition to making research data transparent and thus re-usable. Data are accordingly curated: by means of additional information and enrichment by adding metadata so that data can be used by persons who were not involved in data assessment themselves.
- In the case of disparately archived data, FDZ Bildung co-operates with other research data infrastructure institutions to present studies as a whole, and offer users a central access point.
Long-term availibility and persistence
- A long-term assurance of study information and datasets guarantees sustainable availability of respective data. In order to achieve this goal, FDZ Bildung takes two approaches. On the one hand, this concerns the physical preservation of stored research data objects (e.g. spatially disparate, redundant data storage) and on the other hand this affects preservation of readability and interpretability of data (e.g. migration of formats).
- FDZ Bildung uses Digital Object Identifiers (DOI), to make research data identifiable as well as assuring citation and long-term availability. FDZ Bildung thus uses the DOI registration service at the da|ra agency, which is operated by GESIS and the ZBW (German Central Library for Economics).
Quality assurance and needs orientation
- The research data centre provides selected, high-quality data after they have been checked for content, technical and user rights criteria.
- FDZ aims at continually improving the quality and expanding the data products, and responding to changed user needs and technological change. Quality improvement is based on an exchange with representatives from educational research who are constantly consulted in designing the services and in developmental projects at FDZ Bildung. On the other hand, FDZ Bildung runs application-oriented research activities in its own right.
- Metadata at FDZ Bildung are orientated towards the international standards DDI (Data Documentation Initiative) and Dublin Core. Moreover, the stock of scientific videos is indexed according to a continuous development of a set of content, technical, legal, structural and administrative metadata.
- FDZ Bildung adheres to criteria outlined by the Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten (RatSWD) for research data infrastructure and it was accredited in October 2012. Moreover, FDZ Bildung participates in work groups taking an active role in conceptualising and further developing the quality of data infrastructures at a national, European and international level.
- FDZ Bildung is committed to the responsible and ethically correct l handling of data (i.e. archived research data and data that are assessed in connection with offered services) – practices comply to German data protection legislation.
- Transmission of research data to FDZ Bildung and use of research data are subject to contractual agreements. For reasons of protecting individual rights, access to materials containing personal data is restricted or the material is anonymized.
- Besides paying attention to the protection of research data, the research data centre ensures that user data are assessed and stored in compliance with data protection regulations. Common protective measures are applicable to data that are saved in the context of administration of access to sensitive content (e.g. limited access to a necessary number of members of staff, creation and maintenance of a directory of procedures) which are approved by the data protection officer at DIPF.
 For principles on dealing with research data, see the alliance of German science organisations (Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen): http://www.allianzinitiative.de/de/handlungsfelder/forschungsdaten/grundsaetze.html (last accessed on 08.01.2018).
Note: These guidelines are regularly checked and updated if necessary. They were last updated on 08/01/2018.