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The German Data Forum on empirical social, behavioural and economic sciences accredits the research data center QUALISERVICE located at the SOCIUM Research Center of the University of Bremen.

The German Data Forum advises the federal government and is involved in optimizing data infrastructures. Having obtained the accreditation, Qualiservice now aims to strengthen the interests of qualitative research at the level of science policy.

The accreditation by the German Data Forum in June 2019 is a testimony for the hitherto achievements of Qualiservice. For being accredited, research data centers (RDCs) must accord to the criteria of the German Data Forum with regard to data protection and quality as well as continuous dialog with the scientific community. As an accredited RDC, Qualiservice will work with the Standing Committee on Research Data Infrastructure of the German Data Forum. About 30 RDCs, mostly handling quantitative data, are working to establish a new research data infrastructure in specific working groups. Being appointed a member, Qualiservice is given the chance to point out the special requirements that access to sensitive research data entails for secondary use.

Since 2018, the German Research Foundation (GRF) has been funding the perpetuation of Qualiservice as a RDC for sensitive data in qualitative research. As a „living archive“ Qualiservice does not only deposit research data passively, but supports researchers in the documentation process of their research. The aim is to make the research materials generated in the projects available to other scholars for secondary research. The opportunity to reuse and compare data from social research for longitudinals independently of the primary study will be of particular interest in the future.

Qualitative research materials provided by Qualiservice represent for example, interviews or observations. They are available in written form as transcripts or protocols, but also as audio files, photos or video files. These documentations usually refer to personal data, since the interviewees and other research subjects allow the researchers to participate in their lifeworld.
In order to protect research participants’ personal data, Qualiservice has set up secure workflows and a Safe Center. Thereby Qualiservice takes measures to curate sensitive data while complying to data protection regulations. A workplace for visiting scholars enables secondary use directly on site. More anonymised data sets are also provided as scientific use files. Access to the data is contractually regulated and can only be obtained for scientific purposes. The organisation of a quality-oriented RDC requires national and international networking. As a result of the close collaboration with infrastructure facilities and researchers a separate GRF-funded section on ethnographic data was set up. Furthermore, Qualiservice participates in a BMBF-funded project group working on tools to ensure data quality und long term referencing , taking educational data as an example.

Qualiservice is located at the SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, led by Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein. In cooperation with PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science and the State and the University Library Bremen (SuUB) Qualiservice is assuring the archiving and dissemination workflows as well as appropriate metadata. Besides, a coordinated archiving and representation of mixed methods studies will be implemented together with GESIS - Leibniz Institut für Sozialwissenschaften. Since 2019 QUALISERVICE works in close cooperation with the DFG-funded Specialised Information Service Social and Cultural Anthropology (FID SKA), located at the University Library of the Humboldt University Berlin.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58512
E-Mail: betina.hollstein@uni-bremen.de

Cover Hautkrebsreport 2019Cover Hautkrebsreport 2019
On 29th May Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske, Co-editor, presented the "Skin cancer report 2019" together with Techniker Krankenkasse and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Germany with 270,000 new cases a year. In every seventh skin cancer, the most dangerous is black skin cancer (malignant melanoma), which accounts for around 14% of skin cancers, with 86% white or pale skin cancers. The number increases every year - in the years 2009 to 2015, 50% additional diagnoses of light skin cancer and 30% of black skin cancer were made. Skin cancer is often curable if diagnosed early enough.

Thomas Kalwitzki at an Expert Hearing of the Committee on Health Care of the German Federal Parliament

On 8 May 2019 the Committee on Health Care of the German Federal Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag) organized a hearing attended by 17 experts and representatives of interest groups. The subject were the motions of the Green Party, the Left Party and the Free Democratic Party on a reform of the financing of the nursing care insurance. Heinz Rothgang had written an expert opinion on the issue and Thomas Kalwitzki answered questions at the hearing itself.

Rothgang and Kalwitzki point to a significant amount of unfairness between the two branches of the statutory nursing care insurance: the private obligatory nursing care insurance and the public nursing care insurance. This effects an unequal burden of financing the insurance for the different memberships of the two branches. Since the privately insured members on average include both the lower risks as well as the higher incomes the premiums covering the costs would be only one fourth of the premiums in the public insurance. Privately insured members are, hence, considerably less financially burdened than publicly insured members. This, however, contradicts the judgement of the German Federal Constitutional Court which called for a balanced burden-sharing between the two branches of the nursing care insurance for the people.

In order to distribute the financial burden fairly Rothgang and Kalwitzki advocated the introduction of a so called Citizen Nursing Care Insurance. It not only integrates the two existing branches of insurance but also adds additional forms of income (for example rental revenues or profits from interest) to the roster of incomes from which compulsory insurance premiums have to be deducted. And it increases the assessment ceiling up to which premiums have to be deduced. This will lead to a financial relief for the members of the public insurance branch and for the low-income members of the private insurance branch.

Rothgang and Kalwitzki also pointed to the fact that such a citizen insurance system can be implemented more easily in the realm of nursing care than for example in the realm of the normal health care system. Both the private as well as the public branches of the nursing care insurance are already based on similar regulations concerning services and service delivery. This reduces greatly possible resistance and implementation problems compared for example to the health insurance system.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports the development and implementation of tools aiming at facilitating the management of research data.

Together with 10 partners Qualiservice participated in the proposal, which has now been approved by the BMBF. The three year project will be coordinated by the GESIS – Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences and connects various actors of the field of eduational research.

The project aims at developing data specific management tools – Domain-Data-Protocols (DDPs) - for the empirical educational research. DDPs are public and referenceable protocols. They describe aspects of data quality, curation and documentation as well as legal and ethical aspects related to a specific datatype. By offering data management suggestions DDPs can guide researchers applying for funding. Beyond DDPs can support research funders in evaluating the applications. Qualiservice Knowing the challenges linked with the specific needs of qualitative research data, Qualiservice will focus on flexible and research oriented solutions. Researchers and funders will be involved from the very beginning.

Since 2018 the German Research Foundation (DFG) supports the implementation of QUALISERVICE as a national data service center for social science qualitative research data. The data service center (FDZ) is located at SOCIUM and is headed by Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein. Archiving is organized together with PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science and the State and University Library Bremen (SuUB). Besides, a coordinated archiving and representation of mixed methods studies will be created together with GESIS – Leibniz Institut für Sozialwissenschaften. Since 2019 QUALISERVICE manages in close cooperation with the University Library of the Humboldt University Berlin the DFG-funded Specialised Information Service Social and Cultural Anthropology (FID SKA).


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58512
E-Mail: betina.hollstein@uni-bremen.de

Herbert Obinger Co-Editor of the New Standard Reference Work

If one is interested in comprehensive information on the history, theories and methods, details of various policies and their effects in the area of (internationally comparative) social policy research the new source to go to is the some 900 pages strong “Handbuch Sozialpolitik” edited by Herbert Obinger and the Heidelberg Emeritus Manfred G. Schmidt. The German book market offers nothing comparable. Recent surveys only deal with various parts of the subject, for example social law.

The new handbook comprises of seven parts with altogether 41 chapters written by the leading experts in the field (with different disciplinary backgrounds). Ten of the chapters come from members of SOCIUM. Part I covers the history of social policy, part II the theories explaining social policy. Part III deals with the different national welfare state systems and its typologies while part IV gives an overview on the methodologies of social policy research. Part V analyzes current challenges while part VI offers a broad overview on the various complex details of different fields of social policy. The final part VI looks at the effects of social policy.

More Information:
Obinger, Herbert/Schmidt, Manfred G. (Hrsg.) 2019: Handbuch Sozialpolitik, Wiesbaden: Springer VS


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Herbert Obinger
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58567
E-Mail: herbert.obinger@uni-bremen.de

Special Praise for CRC 1342 and Qualiservice

At the end of March the advisory board used its two day meeting to have a closer look at the research activities of SOCIUM. In discussions with the members of SOCIUM as well as with its board of directors detailed critique as well as high praise was coming forward. The report of the advisory board highlights these findings.

Especially in four core areas of research the advisory board identified the strengths of the research activities of SOCIUM: First, the internationally comparative research on the welfare state and on social policies, especially exemplified by the research of the Collaborative Research Center 1342  “Global Dynamics of Social Policy”. Second, the combination of both qualitative as well as quantitative research methodologies was seen as the traditional strength of Bremen social sciences which gathered national and international importance through the development and expansion of Qualiservice, the service center for qualitative research data. Thirdly, the advisory board praised the continuation of the Bremen tradition of research on life course related inequality, documented by the new chair on life course and social policy financed by a grant of the “Fördernetzwerk Interdisziplinäre Sozialpolitikforschung” of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Fourth, the advisory board underlined the importance of the research on middle classes. The board emphasized its belief that the perspective on middle classes will in the upcoming years develop into a major research field of SOCIUM.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Betina Hollstein
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 9
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58512
E-Mail: betina.hollstein@uni-bremen.de

Graduates of the joint Master program of the University of Bremen together with the Università degli Studi di MilanoGraduates of the joint Master program of the University of Bremen together with the Università degli Studi di Milano
Four Students Defended Their Master Theses at the Università degli Studi di Milano

On March 26th, 2019 already the second cohort of the joint Master program of the University of Bremen together with the Università degli Studi di Milano successfully finished its studies. Chiara Bresan, Sinem Dogan, Verena Sattler and Laura Rappold defended their Master theses which dealt with issues of comparative European industrial relations as well as inequality in the labour markets. Following the defenses they were allowed to don, as a sign of their successes, the customary laurel wrath (“corona d’alloro”).

Already since the Winter Semester of 2015/2016 the Università degli Studi in Milano, Italy and the University of Bremen cooperate in a university program that awards a double degree (both in Germany and Italy) as a “European Master in Labour Studies and Social Policy”. Central contents of this program are industrial relations in international comparative perspective including trade unions, employers’ associations and their political and social embedding. An additional focus of this two-year program with the first year at the University of Bremen and the second at the Università degli Studi is the comparative analysis of inequality and social policies. The deadline for applications for this international Master program is June 15th, 2019. Both universities accept such applications.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Karin Gottschall
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 5
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58595
E-Mail: karin.gottschall@uni-bremen.de

Longer Better Living.-InstituteLonger Better Living.-Institute
Topical Issues and Renowned Speakers Guarantee Gerd Glaeske and the BKK24 a Full Audience

How can we motivate people of different social backgrounds to change their life style, their fitness behavior and their eating habits in order to live a healthier, longer and more satisfying life? The Second Congress for “A Longer Better Life” offers an interesting program put together by Professor Gerd Glaeske of SOCIUM and the BKK24. The congress will commence on May 14th, 2019 at the Adademie des Sports in Hanover. Since it is still the social background which determines the life expectancy the congress aims at exploring the possibilities to improve the individual motivation. The topical question guaranteed that the congress was fully booked in short time.

The Congress for “A Longer Better Life” is part of the preventive work of the Institute for “A Longer Better Life” which organized by the SOCIUM together with the BKK24.

More information: Longer Better Living.-Institute


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Gerd Glaeske
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58559
E-Mail: gglaeske@uni-bremen.de

Professor Heinz RothgangProfessor Heinz Rothgang
Policy brief by Heinz Rothgang for the State Parliament of Schleswig-Holstein

After Hamburg offered its public officials an allowance for the membership in the public health insurance other states in German also discuss that option. Among them is Schleswig-Holstein. Heinz Rothgang, Professor of Health Economics at SOCIUM, wrote a policy brief for a hearing on this issue in Schleswig-Holstein.

In his policy brief Rothgang underlines four elements: Such a policy increases the choice of the public officials. It also strengthens the solidarity in the health care system, since it brings better risks back into the public system. Furthermore, such a policy reduces the administrative overhead since in the current system two bills for each case have to be processed. And this policy saves public expenditures in the long run since the higher costs of health care for elder people are then fully carried by the insurance system.

Rothgang, thus, supports the proposed policy but wants it based on two principles: First, it has to be voluntary for the public officials. And second the decision, once made, should not be revocable in order to avoid the typical double free-riding: to opt for the cheaper private insurance in younger years and then, when the costs rise in later years, to move to the public system.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Heinz Rothgang
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 3
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58557
E-Mail: rothgang@uni-bremen.de

Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Eva Quante-Brandt, Minister of Science, Health and Consumer ProtectionHubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs and Eva Quante-Brandt, Minister of Science, Health and Consumer Protection
Recent Law-Making and the Situation of Social Policy Research subjects of the talk

The Federal Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, visited today SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy. Together with the Minister of Science, Health and Consumer Protection of the State of Bremen, Eva Quante-Brandt, the Federal Minister discussed questions of the situation of social policy research, the possibility of an improved secondary education in social policy affairs as well as issues of recent policy-making, especially the introduction of a basic pension system, with scientists of SOCIUM. Minister Eva Quante-Brandt underlined: “I am happy to see Minister Heil visiting SOCIUM which is one of Bremen’s excellent research facilities. Social sciences are part of the research focuses of Bremen – especially research on inequality and social policy. In these areas we discuss the most imminent questions of our times: What are the causes of inequality? How can we regulate the life-long careers of workers in order to guarantee them a sufficient pension? It’s about the social integration of our society.”

In the discussion it became obvious that low pensions and increasing poverty of elder people develop into a pressing problem which questions the legitimacy of the whole public pension system. Federal Minister Hubertus Heil stated that his ministry already supports the “Fördernetzwerk interdisziplinäre Sozialpolitikforschung (FIS)”. Additional measures will follow. “The Minister of Labour and Social Affairs is dependent on research on social policy beyond the daily political questions in order to discover and solve political problems at a very early stage. Social policy research helps society to discuss the future of the welfare state. I am happy to see that SOCIUM is offering important impulses for these debates and that it participates in the “Fördernetzwerk”.


Contact:
Prof. Dr. Frank Nullmeier
SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Mary-Somerville-Straße 7
28359 Bremen
Phone: +49 421 218-58576
E-Mail: frank.nullmeier@uni-bremen.de