In view of a growing debate within the academic community about the reliability and validity of research data, it is imperative to develop science-driven infrastructures dedicated to the discursive curation and quality assurance of research data. There is also growing demand for research data management and transparency, as evidenced by initiatives such as the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. In its white paper on ‘Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice’, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) recommends that primary research data be securely archived for a period of ten years. As a project funded by the DFG, Discuss Data is committed to this practice.

Discuss Data combines the publishing of data collections with documentation of the data-gathering process, while at the same time serving as an interactive platform for data evaluation through quality assessment, contextualisation and discussion – all within the same space. The academic community can thus report erroneous data, recommend alternative sources when data is missing and discuss in detail the interpretation and application of research data. Discuss Data offers users the possibility to structure and present feedback on research data and transform the evaluation of the data from an individual to a collective procedure that benefits the entire academic community.

For the purpose of data storage and long-term digital preservation, Discuss Data is connected to the DARIAH-DE repository, where all open data is archived, and will also be linked to the services of the Humanities Data Centre. Through cross-linking with various external data sources, knowledge and debates about research data will be gathered interactively and made accessible to both the academic community and interested members of the public. With Discuss Data, the HAB is contributing to the development of a research data infrastructure that is transregional, sustainable and independent of individual projects.

Discuss Data is currently home to a community whose research focuses on Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia. In the second funding phase, which began in 2023, more community spaces will be added. The Research Centre for East European Studies at Universität Bremen (University of Bremen) is responsible for building a new community space for archive data from the research area ‘Soviet dissent and samizdat’. The Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel and the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen (Göttingen State and University Library, SUB) are jointly responsible for developing a community space for the DH community. The HAB benefits from the fact that the Zeitschrift für digitale Geisteswissenschaften (ZfdG), an important organ of the German-speaking DH community, is already based at the library.

Funding: DFG

Duration: 2023–2026

Project findings:

Further research projects: