Replicability and Comprehensibility of Social Research and Its Technical Implementation

29 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2013 Last revised: 27 Aug 2013

See all articles by Stefan Friedhoff

Stefan Friedhoff

Bielefeld University - Department of Sociology; SFB882 - INF

Christian Meier zu Verl

Bielefeld University

Christian Pietsch

Bielefeld University Library

Christian Meyer

Bielefeld University

Johanna Vompras

Bielefeld University Library

Stefan Liebig

Bielefeld University - Department of Sociology; German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel

Date Written: May 30, 2013

Abstract

This paper is a contribution to the methodological and technical discussion of social research infrastructure. The main question is how to store and manage data in a way that meets the increasing demand for secondary data analysis in both quantitative and qualitative social science research. The first two sections focus mainly on aspects of data documentation, in particular on the unification of various documentation requirements that have arisen across ongoing projects of the SFB 882. While the aim of documenting quantitative research processes is to ensure replicability, the aim of documenting qualitative projects is to maintain the understandability and informative value of research data.

In the third section a virtual research environment (VRE) is presented that provides both a generic work platform and a project-specific research platform. The work platform bundles IT resources by bringing together various tools for administration, project management, and time- and location-independent collaboration in a single environment adapted to researchers’ specific work processes. The research component combines data management with further developments in social science methodologies. It provides services for the archiving and reuse of data and enables the infrastructural and methodological coordination of data documentation. We also introduce a documentation scheme for qualitative and quantitative social research within the SFB 882. This scheme considers the specific requirements of research projects within the SFB, such as different methods (e.g. panel analysis, experimental approaches, ethnography, and interview research), project work, and requirements of long-term research.

Keywords: reflexivity, replication, data documentation, informative value, documentation practices, quantitative research, qualitative research, data management, reproducible research, data sharing, RatSWD, infrastructure, research, research infrastructure

Suggested Citation

Friedhoff, Stefan and Meier zu Verl, Christian and Pietsch, Christian and Meyer, Christian and Vompras, Johanna and Liebig, Stefan, Replicability and Comprehensibility of Social Research and Its Technical Implementation (May 30, 2013). RatSWD_WP_ 219, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2272056 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2272056

Stefan Friedhoff

Bielefeld University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

SFB882 - INF ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

Christian Meier zu Verl

Bielefeld University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

Christian Pietsch

Bielefeld University Library ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW D-33615
Germany

Christian Meyer

Bielefeld University ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW 33613
Germany

Johanna Vompras

Bielefeld University Library ( email )

Universitätsstraße 25
Bielefeld, NRW D-33615
Germany

Stefan Liebig (Contact Author)

Bielefeld University - Department of Sociology ( email )

Fakultaet fuer Soziologie
Universitaetsstr. 25
33613 Bielefeld, DE 33613
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/soz/personen/liebig/

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) - German Socio Economic Panel ( email )

DIW Berlin
Berlin, Berlin 14191
Germany

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