Research Data Management

The discourse on the handling of research data plays an ever important role in an increasingly digital research world. Funding organisations such as the German Research Foundation (DFG) often require a data management plan when applying for a project in order to safeguard good scientific practice. Scholars of the study of religion will also have to address this issue. The FID Religionswissenschaft sees itself as a mediator of subject-related information. On this website we have therefore compiled the most important information on research data and research data management. A collection of links to thematically relevant texts completes our service.

From 4 June to 7 July 2019, the FID and the DVRW conducted an online survey among the German-speaking specialist community on the topic of “Research Data in the Study of Religion”. The aim of the survey was to find out what knowledge and what needs exist among scholars of the study of religion on this topic.

Click here for the survey results (in German only)

National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)

In November 2018, the German Joint Science Conference (GWK) reached an agreement on the establishment of a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), with the major goal of integrating and networking all actors involved in the topic of research data and research data management. The establishment of the NFDI is to be funded by the Federal Government and the Federal States to the tune of up to 90 million euros over a period of ten years (2019-2028). In detail, the aim is to systematically develop, secure and re-use research data over the long term.

Through the formation of NFDI consortia, users and providers of research data are to network “in cooperation with institutions of the scientific infrastructure”.

In this process, the DFG takes over the review procedures for the funding applications, on the basis of which the GWK makes its decisions on the funding of the individual consortia.

GWK (ed.): Bund-Länder-Vereinbarung zu Aufbau und Förderung einer Nationalen Forschungsdateninfrastruktur (NFDI). 26.11.2018

Information on NFDI funding on the DFG website

Selection of NFDI consortia that could be relevant for the study of religion:

NFDI4CULTURE: Consortium for research data in the field of cultural heritage (currently funded)

KonsortSWD: Consortium for the social, educational, behavioral and economic sciences (currently funded)

Text+: Consortium for research data in the text- and language-based humanities

NFDI4MEMORY: Consortium for research data in the historical humanities

NFDI4Objects: Consortium for research data in the object-related humanities (esp. the archaeologies)

General Information

Meanwhile there is a whole row of informative websites and publications to the topic. Here we present only a small selection of them, which we consider useful for an introduction to the topic. – Wiki on the subject of research data – information platform on the topic of research and data management – informative website on research infrastructures specifically for the humanities; also contains a collection of position papers of individual subjects / specialist associations

Geisteswissenschaftliches Forum NFDI – a blog started as an information and exchange forum on the subject of NFDI for associations of the humanities; registration for a mailing list is possible


There is already a number of institutional, subject-related or general (commercial) repositories that offer archiving of research data. Since different methods from other sciences are applied in the study of religion, different repositories can also be considered for data storage. Here you will find a preliminary list of repositories which might be relevant to scholars of the study of religion.

CLARIN-D = network of research data archives with a textual focus (linguistics)

DARIAH-DE Repository = research data repository for the humanities and cultural studies; tends to be text-related

GESIS Data Archiving (data archiving service) and GESIS datorium (self-archiving) = data archive for the Social Sciences

Qualiservice = data service centre for research data from qualitative social research

aviDa = research data centre for audio-visual data in qualitative social research (accredited by RatSWD since 1/2021)

Search portals are meant to help you find a suitable repository for research data, a specialist database or other resources related to research data. However, these are not always up to date or fine-tuned for a search on data related to the study of religion.

Re3data = international registry of research data repositories

RISources = DFG portal on research infrastructures

Recommendations and guidelines

Alliance of German Science Organisations (ed.): Grundsätze zum Umgang mit Forschungsdaten. 2010

Science Council = WR (ed.): Empfehlungen zur Weiterentwicklung der wissenschaftlichen Informationsinfrastrukturen in Deutschland bis 2020. 2012 (Recommendations for the further development of scientific information infrastructures in Germany until 2020)

Council for Information Infrastructures = RFII (ed.): Leistung aus Vielfalt. 2016 (Performance from Diversity)

EUROPEAN COMMISSION / Directorate-General for Research & Innovation (ed.): Guidelines on FAIR Data Management in Horizon 2020. 2016

DFG (ed.): Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice. Code of Conduct. 2013

DFG (ed.): Leitlinien zum Umgang mit Forschungsdaten. 2015 (Guidelines for the handling of research data)

In addition to this: Handreichung des Fachkollegiums 106 Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, Außereuropäische Kulturen, Judaistik und Religionswissenschaft zum Umgang mit Forschungsdaten (PDF | 124 KB). 2019 (Guidelines of the DFG review board 106 Social and Cultural Anthropology, Non-European Cultures, Jewish Studies and Study of Religion on the handling of research data)

Mark D. Wilkinson and 52 other authors: The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship, in: Scientific Data volume 3, Article number: 160018 (2016)

Arbeitsgruppe Forschungsdaten (ed.): Research Data Management: A Guide for Researchers [Research Data Working Group in the Priority Initiative “Digital Information” of the Alliance of German Science Organisations]. 2018