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Data Access

Scientific Use


Data Access

The FDZ Ruhr makes the data available to external scientists for non-commercial use only – there are some exceptions for the public use files and campus files. The use is related to one project and possible in two ways, Scientific Use File (SUF) and as a visiting scientist (On-Site use). These differ in terms of the degree of anonymization of the data provided and in terms of the mobility of data use. Scientific Use Files are de facto anonymized data that researchers can analyze in their respective scientific institutions. If a Scientific Use File is available, On-Site use is only possible after using the SUF. Visiting researchers have access to weakly anonymized data, the use of which must comply with a number of data protection regulations. For this reason, analyses of these data are only possible during a guest stay in our data security room. Both types of access require a request from the user. The management of the FDZ Ruhr decides on the release of the requested data according to defined rules. If you are interested in one of our data sets, we offer you the possibility to request data easily online. Please follow the links below to do so. There you will be redirected to the external service provider, where your data will be collected and forwarded to us. It is possible to pause data requests and continue at a later time. Please also note our terms of use.

An FAQ is now available at Forum4MICA – Making Information Commonly Available

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Publicly available data

There are datasets that are also accessible as public use files (PUF) or campus files. PUFs contain completely anonymized or aggregated data. Their use is therefore not limited to a specific user group or location of use. Campus Files are available for students’ thesis and teaching. Public Use Files and Campus Files can be requested by emailing to

Terms of use

The FDZ Ruhr expects responsible use of the data provided. Any attempts to identify individuals (individuals, companies or comparable groups) are to be refrained from. If an accidental re-anonymization occurs, this must be reported to the data provider immediately. Data that contain personal references or for which there is a possibility of re-anonymization are generally only made available for the purposes of scientific research. For this purpose, the FDZ Ruhr concludes user agreements with the legal representatives of research institutions. When using these data, it must be ensured that data protection regulations according to Art. 29 DS-GVO, Art. 5 DS-GVO, Art. 89 DS-GVO and §78 SGBX as well as the appendices to Art. 32 para. l DS-GVO and §78 SGBX are adhered to. This data will not be transferred to countries that are not classified by the European Union as safe in terms of data protection. For data protection reasons, we can only provide our data to applicants and users in EU countries and countries with a comparable data protection agreement. If you are a data user from another country, please write to us at

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If you have any questions about our data services or data applications, please use the FAQ of the FDZ Ruhr at Forum4MICA, for further questions please contact us at any time:

The Forum4MICA offers you information on the use of research data in the social, behavioural, educational and economic sciences.