Research Data Center Ruhr at the RWI

Data Access

The FDZ Ruhr provides data for external researchers only for non-commercial research. The data may solely be analysed within the scope of temporary research projects. However, it is possible that researchers conduct different projects. Users can access the data via Off-Site Use as Scientific Use Files or via On-Site use at the Safe Centre of the FDZ Ruhr in Essen. Further, there are some data that are available as Public Use Files.

Scientific Use Files are factually anonymous datasets offered to researchers of scientific institutions for analysis.

On-Site Use is provided for weakly anonymous data. These data are subject to restrictions concerning data protection legislation. Due to these regulations the data can be analyzed only via on-site use at separate workplaces for guest researchers.

Users of both, Scientific Use Files and On-Site Use are required to sign a data distribution contract, which you can request online. Please be aware that the contract has to be signed by the head of an institution or an university professor.

The application form can be found via the link provided here. We use the external platform Please read the conditions for data use

New data application

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Public Use Files
contain absolutely anonymized or aggregated data. Their use is not restricted to specific users or a specific place of use. Data access is provided by sending an email at:

Conditions for Data Usage

Data confidentiality has to be ensured by organizational and technical measures if data are transmitted. The rules for data security are binding, especially §5 BDSG. It is not allowed to re-identify individual cases. If a data user unintentionally re-identifies individual cases, they have to inform the FDZ Ruhr immediately.  

The signing contractor is liable for the breach of rules and contractual obligations of all users of the contract.

More Information


If you have any questions about our services, individual data records or applications for use, please feel free to contact us at any time:

If you have any questions regarding data protection, please send them to Rüdiger Budde: