Strong partners close to R|EX research

DP-R|EX as a central data infrastructure for research on racism and right-wing extremism can only be successful in a network with strong partners and anchoring in the research communities. To this end, a number of research institutions and repositories across Germany are working together to provide tailored services in order to make R|EX research more efficient and better. The network consists of:

GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences

GESIS provides essential and internationally relevant research-based services for the social sciences. As the largest European infrastructure institute for the social sciences GESIS offers advice, expertise and services at all stages of scientists’ research projects. A key mission is to provide data for research and teaching.

Therefore, GESIS conducts surveys as part of long-term national (e.g. the German General Social Survey, the German Longitudinal Election Study) and international survey programmes (e.g. the European Social Survey, the International Social Survey Programme) and operates a repository for social science research data. Since 2022, GESIS has been building a new infrastructure focusing on digital behavioural data, including social media data, with funds from a special strategic budget.

GESIS is the spokesperson for the NFDI consortium KonsortSWD, which has represented the social sciences in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) since October 2020. GESIS also represents Germany in the Consortium of European Social Sciences Data Archives (CESSDA), which, as the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) for the social sciences, promotes the international networking of research data infrastructures and supports their integration into the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

Further information about the institute can be found on the GESIS website.

DeZIM – German Center for Integration and Migration Research

The German Centre for Integration and Migration Research (DeZIM e.V.) consists of the DeZIM Institute in Berlin (DeZIM-I) and a consortium of the seven most important German research institutions in the field of integration and migration research, the DeZIM Research Community (DeZIM-FG).

The structure and objectives of DeZIM include the sustainable networking of the integration and migration research community in Germany, the promotion of young researchers and the establishment of a joint data infrastructure.

The research data centre at DeZIM (DeZIM.fdz) plays a key role within this structure and objective. A high-quality and sustainable data infrastructure is guaranteed, on which future research can be built on and evidence-based policy advice can be provided. DeZIM.fdz is accredited by the German Data Forum (RatSWD) and comprises four modules: a data archive, support for staff and users, an online access panel closely linked to the data archive, and a metadatabase. In the following, the first and last modules will be discussed in more detail below, due to the thematic fit within the DP-REX project.

The first module contains a data archive in which all quantitative research data and text corpora collected by DeZIM-I and DeZIM-FG are stored. In addition, we are currently working on a cooperation with the Qualiservice research data service centre to be able to archive qualitative data from DeZIM-I and DeZIM-FG projects at Qualiservice. While this option is reserved exclusively for DeZIM projects due to financial reasons, external data producers can also archive their quantitative data at DeZIM.fdz. The only requirement is a thematic fit and appropriate preparation and documentation of the data. Members of universities and research institutions have access to the data archived at DeZIM.fdz after signing a data utilisation agreement.

A further module of DeZIM.fdz is dedicated to the development of a metadatabase. An information resource, aiming to develop a corresponding search mask or search function to enable and facilitate the retrieval of data sets. This includes studies in the field of migration, integration, discrimination, and racism which are archived at DeZIM.fdz as well as studies that are stored in external data archives (e.g. at GESIS or other research data centres). In the course of the DP-R|EX data portal, we will be in close contact with GESIS in order to avoid dual structures and make the best possible use of synergies.

For more information about the institute, please visit the the DeZIM website.

Qualiservice at SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy

Qualiservice is a research data service centre, located at the University of Bremen and accredited by the German Data Forum (RatSWD), that archives and provides qualitative research data from various fields of the social sciences for scientific re-use.

Qualiservice has extensive experience in the processing and provision of particularly sensitive research data and already holds interesting datasets from racism and migration research for the planned data portal. In addition to expertise in handling sensitive data, Qualiservice has experience in advising and supporting researchers who share and/or work with this data, which is a great advantage for the development of the planned data portal. The counselling is subject and study-specific. Specialist experts curate the research data and prepare it for subsequent use. Internationally compatible metadata makes datasets searchable and findable. Persistent identifiers (DOI) ensure that data and study contexts can be cited in the long term.

Since 2021, Qualiservice has been coordinating the establishment of a network for qualitative research data (QualidataNet) as part of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) in the SWD consortium. Here, and also as a cooperation partner in the VerbundFDB (German Network for Educational Research Data), Qualiservice works in federated archiving infrastructures such as those planned for DP-R|EX. As long-standing cooperation partners, Qualiservice and GESIS also offer researchers the option of distributed archiving of mixed methods studies.

In June 2020, the head of Qualiservice, Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein, was appointed to the RatSWD by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. This is the first time that a qualitative data infrastructure has been represented on the Council. Qualiservice is committed to the DFG (German Research Foundation) guidelines for safeguarding good scientific practice and also takes into account the FAIR principles and the OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding.

For more information about the institute, please visit the Qualiservice website.

Social Media Observatory (SMO) at the Hans Bredow Institute (HBI)

The Leibniz Institute for Media Research │Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) investigates media change and the associated structural changes in public communication. Cross-media, interdisciplinary and independent, it combines basic science and transfer research to create problem-relevant knowledge for politics, business and civil society.

The Media Research Methods Lab (MRML) is designed as a method-orientated lab that combines established social science methods (survey, observation, content analysis, experiment) with innovative digital methods from the field of computational social science (e.g. automated content analysis, network analysis, log data analysis, experience sampling) across all topics and disciplines. The integration of established and new methods and data sources promises the best results for the empirical investigation of current challenges and developments in media change.

The (Social) Media Observatory is funded as an open science research infrastructure within the Research Institute for Social Cohesion (FGZ) and is a sub-project of the MRML. The core task of the SMO is the long-term monitoring of relevant digital communication on selected internet platforms and online news media to answer social science research questions and to support corresponding research projects.

Further information on the institute can be found on the HBI website.

Right-Wing Studies Knowledge Network – Wi-REX

Right-wing extremism is a core problem of democratic societies. In order to analyze the phenomenon comprehensively, to counter its effects decisively and to target prevention in a well-founded manner, knowledge and findings from various disciplines within academia as well as from government and civil society practice are needed. The need for reliable information is high in both politics and society. The research on right-wing extremism that is currently available is diverse, but there has been a lack of comprehensive and timely exchange between research, practice, and society.

The Right-Wing Studies Knowledge Network (Wi-REX) aims to contribute to the networking and consolidation of the field of research on right-wing extremism. It wants to bring together the already existing knowledge from different research and work areas wisely and put it up for discussion. It wants to recognize and classify new developments, perceive questions of tomorrow and develop answers to them. It is precisely the exchange of observations, findings and approaches to the topic that requires an independent knowledge network.

Wi-REX attempts to take stock of right-wing extremism and relevant research in order to document potentials as well as necessities for more support. In addition, the aim is to identify starting points for strengthening and (self-)critically developing research on right-wing extremism and, ultimately, to make a contribution to combating right-wing extremism and its diverse manifestations in German society.

Wi-REX aims to strengthen younger scholars in their research on right-wing extremism, to bring together knowledge, to ensure its dissemination, and to connect the knowledge base of civil society with the knowledge base of academia. Our aim is to build a dynamic network that is open to innovation and continuously evolving.

The Knowledge Network does not function as a service provider for consulting on the topic of right-wing extremism and does not offer a direct networking “service”. It does, however, initiate exchange processes and content-related debates that can take place through the collective identification and analysis of problems and challenges related to right-wing extremism (research), as well as through the development and application of approaches to solutions. In this way, the Knowledge Network creates a process in which academics and other actors working on right-wing extremism can actively participate.

Wi-REX stands on three platforms: Research, Transfer, and Young Scholarship

The Platform Research creates spaces for interaction and reflection in which diverse topics and interpretations can be discussed amongst researchers. It also generates an overview of the state of right-wing extremism research.

The Platform Transfer explores where and how knowledge about right-wing extremism is generated in the field of practice and civil society, and what needs and expectations actors from practice and civil society have in connection with research and knowledge transfer. Based on these analyses, transfer formats will be developed and implemented that are tailored to the specific needs of the target groups.

The Platform Young Scholars aims to support and network researchers at the beginning of their careers. In this way, a long-term scholarship of right-wing extremism and the extreme right is secured and a transfer of knowledge between the generations of researchers is facilitated.

All three platforms are open to the involvement of interested actors and offer different spaces, such as workshops, a blog or discussion events, in which exchange, networks and collaboration can develop – whereby the knowledge network takes shape.

Further information on the institute can be found on the Wi-REX website.

Knowledge Network on Racism Research (WinRa)

Taking decisive action against racism and right-wing extremism and promoting, expanding, and anchoring research on these topics in the university landscape – the importance of these topics has been demonstrated not least by the terror attacks in Hanau and Halle. Racist violence is booming in Germany; it manifests itself structurally and institutionally. Against this background, the Knowledge Network on Racism Research (WinRa) strategically strengthens and connects the scattered and fragmented research on racism in Germany through a research-based and interdisciplinary exchange.

Content and methodology play a central role in the knowledge network. We will develop strategies for expanding the research infrastructure for racism research and be available as a point of contact for politics, civil society, the media, and the public.

The Knowledge Network on Racism Research is designed as a joint project. In addition to overall coordination and management at the DeZIM Institute in Berlin, WinRa consists of four regional networks. These are established at the University of Bielefeld/Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Network West), the University of Mannheim/University of Bayreuth (Network South), Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences/ Humboldt University of Berlin (Network East) and Bucerius Law School Hamburg/University of Hamburg (Network North).

WinRa is funded for a period of five years as part of the “Current and historical dynamics of right-wing extremism and racism” funding guideline of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and pursues the following overall objectives, among others:
  • Networking and strengthening existing racism research across all disciplines and establishing the topic of racism in the individual disciplines as a central lens through which gaps and desiderata should be identified.
  • Building a network between research projects and junior research groups funded within the BMBF’s funding guidelines framework.
  • Regional strengthening and monitoring of interdisciplinary research and teaching contexts for new impulses at the universities and the respective disciplines; strengthening and integrating the promotion of young talent.
  •  Foster exchange with right-wing extremism and antisemitism research as well as integration, migration, and refugee research.

To achieve these goals, a systematic and disciplinary inventory of racism research in Germany will be undertaken. Through this, we will identify development perspectives and recommendations for action for building a suitable research infrastructure, as well as possibilities for developing a structure on this ground.

In addition, WinRa contributes to a more thorough reflection on racism research as a practice, supports the discussion about the self-image of the research field, and defines it more precisely concerning ethics, methodology, and practice transfer.

WinRa also endeavors to systematically involve civil society actors and community-based research throughout the entire duration of the project and to network with partners and institutions both nationally and internationally.

Further information on the institute can be found on the WinRA website.