International Data Access Network (IDAN) for Sensitive Microdata in Humanities & Social Sciences


  • Dana Müller Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung image/svg+xml
  • Matthias Umkehrer Institut für Arbeitsmarkt und Berufsforschung image/svg+xml



Research Data Infrastructure


In a globalized world it becomes increasingly important to provide international research data. This is particularly true in Humanities & Social Sciences. With legal frameworks changing, administrative data can increasingly be utilised both for official statistics and to facilitate new research, enabling the development of evidence-based policy for the public benefit. Secure access conditions generally apply to using these rich, highly detailed level data. However, using data from various sources is difficult when they are fragmented in ‘silos’ between several Research Data Centres (RDCs). While this might be the case at a national level, it is very likely to be the case at an international level. The latter is a major obstacle for international comparative research.

The International Data Access Network (IDAN, aims at creating a concrete operational international framework enabling access to controlled data for research. The Network was founded in 2018, at the same time when the European General Data Protection Regulation became active. It currently involves six RDCs from France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Within IDAN, step by step cooperative solutions are developed taking into account the particular legal and security requirements that are at the core of both, national and transnational access to confidential data. Initially, the partners’ access systems are being implemented in each partners’ premise based on bilateral agreements. This process involves combining requirements of security and surveillance for Safe Rooms. It sets up a new concrete environment for researchers to work remotely with data from the other partners from their local RDC.

IDAN is a perfect match for the topic “Connecting RDM” regarding confidential data which are a highly demanded by the international research community. The presentation will show the opportunities and obstacles in developing the IDAN infrastructure. Based on discussions with research experts with heterogeneous backgrounds in Europe, it will also discuss researcher’s expectations and needs to further improve access to international research data. IDAN could be a role model for other research disciplines and research infrastructure for pushing the boundaries of international data access.


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How to Cite

Müller, D., & Umkehrer, M. (2023). International Data Access Network (IDAN) for Sensitive Microdata in Humanities & Social Sciences. Proceedings of the Conference on Research Data Infrastructure , 1.
Received 2023-04-21
Accepted 2023-06-29
Published 2023-09-07