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Cooperation between GESIS and CAIS:

Research Data & Methods Department takes up its work

At the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), researchers will in future draw on the expertise of a new organisational unit:

7. May 2021

The Research Data & Methods (RDM) department was established in close cooperation with GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences and supports researchers at CAIS in the various phases of their research work in methods, research data management and the practice of open science.

The common goal of GESIS and CAIS is the further development of digitisation research with digital behavioural data and the infrastructures required for this. Two GESIS experts will be in charge of managing and setting up the new department in Bochum: Dr Katrin Weller and Dr Johannes Breuer. “We have already been working successfully with GESIS for several years in a variety of ways to plan and set up such a department and are pleased that we are now getting down to the concrete implementation of the conceptual and practical work,” says CAIS Director Prof. Dr. Michael Baurmann.

The core tasks of the department include advising and supporting researchers at CAIS in all phases of the research cycle, e.g. through best practice guidelines or methodological training. The focus is on study planning and data collection as well as the publication of results and data according to the guiding principle of open science. Johannes Breuer is a specialist in linking survey and digital behavioural data and archiving them. Katrin Weller specialises in consulting on questions about the significance and availability of social media data and methods for their analysis. The two are supported by the PhD student in the RDM team, Annika Deubel, who also has an interdisciplinary background and experience in working with different methods and data types. From 2022, the team will continue to grow: in addition to a scientific position that has yet to be filled, the management of the department will be prepared by a professorship to be appointed together with the University of Duisburg-Essen in 2023.

In addition to providing support for empirical researchers at CAIS, the RDM department will also conduct its own research in the future, e.g. on questions of data access, research ethics, data management and open science in digitisation research.