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Autonomous Organization of the (International) Scientific Community Would Simplify Data Protection in the Social Sciences and Encourage Reanalysis


  • Gert G. Wagner


In den Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften besteht ohne die Moeglichkeit einer Re-Analyse von statistischen Ergebnissen (gleichermaßen amtlichen wie nicht-amtlichen) die Gefahr von nicht entdeckten Irrtuemern. Mit anderen Worten: Re- Analysen sind in der Wissenschaft die "Berufungsinstanz", ohne die es keine funktionierende Scientific Community geben kann. Der Schutz vor fehlerhaften wissenschaftlichen Ergebnissen mit Hilfe von Re-Analysen ist ein "oeffentliches Interesse", das in der Datenschutzdiskussion und insbesondere bei der Auslegung von Datenschutzregelungen bislang zu wenig beachtet wurde. Das Wissenschaftssystem und der Gesetzgeber sind gleichermaßen aufgefordert, Re-Analysen zu ermoeglichen ohne den Datenschutz zu verletzen. Als Instrumente werden Selbstbindungen im Wissenschaftssystem und die Schaffung eines gesetzlichen "Forschungsdaten-Geheimnisses" diskutiert. The re-analysis of statistical data is an effective means of protecting the public from undiscovered errors in social science research. Re-analysis is critical, as there is no difference between official data and non-official data. However, discussions concerning data protection legislation do not usually take this into consideration. Proper data protection rules must make it possible to conduct independent re-analysis of protected data. The paper discusses the possibilities of self-binding in the (international) scientific community and creating a new kind of law which would provide scientific data with a special legal status (Forschungsdaten- Geheimnis).

Suggested Citation

  • Gert G. Wagner, 2001. "Autonomous Organization of the (International) Scientific Community Would Simplify Data Protection in the Social Sciences and Encourage Reanalysis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 249, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp249

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Williamson, Samuel H & Jones, Warren L, 1983. "Computing the Impact of Social Security Using the Life Cycle Consumption Function," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1036-1052, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • A20 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - General
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • K39 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Other


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