Discuss Data

Archiving, sharing and discussing research data on Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia

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Project Description

Discuss Data (www.discuss-data.net) is a new open repository for storing, sharing and discussing research data on Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. The platform, launched in September 2020, is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and operated by the Research Centre for East European Studies at the University of Bremen (FSO) and the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB). Discuss Data goes beyond ordinary repositories and offers an interactive online platform for the discussion and quality assessment of research data. Our aim is to create a space for academic communication and for the community-specific publication, curation, annotation and discussion of research data on Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia.

In view of an increasing debate within the academic community about the reliability and validity of research data, especially regarding the states of the former Soviet Union , this is of crucial importance. Also, there is an increasing demand for research data management and transparency, manifested in initiatives like the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. The major German scientific funding institution, the German Research Foundation (DFG), suggests in its "Proposals for Safeguarding Good Scientific Practice" to securely store primary research data for ten years. As a project funded by the DFG, Discuss Data is committed to this practice.

Discuss Data combines the upload and publication of data collections not only with documentations of data collection, but also enables in the same space the interactive evaluation of the data through the assessment of their quality, their contextualisation and discussion. Thus, we enable the international community of experts to report faulty data, in case of missing data to recommend alternative data sources, and to extensively discuss the interpretation and application of data. Discuss Data presents the opportunity to structure and present feedback to research data and to transform the evaluation of research data from an individualistic to a collective endeavour that benefits the whole academic community.

For data storage and long-term digital preservation, Discuss Data is connected to the DARIAH-DE repository, where all open data will be archived, and prospectively the Humanities Data Centre services. Through cross-linkage with various external data sources, the knowledge and debates about research data shall be collected interactively and made accessible to both the academic community and the interested public. Thereby, Discuss Data contributes to the creation of a project-independent, transregional and sustainable information infrastructure.

For further information and the broader rationale of Discuss Data, read our article on "Transparency and quality assessment of research data in post-Soviet area studies: The potential of an interactive online platform".

We recommend new users to read our 'First steps for new users' manual before starting, where we briefly explain the interface and the different uses and functionalities of Discuss Data.

Discuss Data is interested in new data sets. For further information, please read the Call for Data - and feel free to share our call with your colleagues and within your networks and institutions!

Also, we offer a limited amount of grants to prepare data for open access publications on Discuss Data. Check our Preparation Grant for further information.

If you want to stay up to date with what is happening on the platform, please subscribe here to receive our newsletter.


Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines (FSO Bremen)

Project director, curator

Heiko Pleines is the head of the project and curator for opinion poll and elite data.

Dr. Daniel Kurzawe (SUB Göttingen)


Daniel Kurzawe is the deputy head of the Department for Research and Development at SUB Göttingen and is the project coordinator of Discuss Data.

Felix Herrmann (FSO Bremen)

Development, curator

Felix Hermann is responsible for the development and the technical maintenance of Discuss Data. As a historian interested in Digital Humanities, he is the curator for data on economic history.

Dr. Eduard Klein (FSO Bremen)

Outreach and communication, community space manager, curator

Eduard Klein is responsible for outreach, communication and community engagement at Discuss Data. He is also curator for data on corruption and education.

Anastasiia Tarasova (FSO Bremen)

Community space manager, partner cooperation

Anastasiia Tarasova is responsible for the development of the community space “Dissent & Samizdat in the Soviet Union”, cooperation with external partners, user support, and community engagement.

Dr. Torsten Kahlert (HAB Wolfenbüttel)

Community space manager

Torsten Kahlert is responsible for the development of the community space "Digital Humanities".

Stefan Hynek (SUB Göttingen)


Stefan Hynek is responsible for development and maintenance of the platform and for the technical integration of Discuss Data in the European research data network infrastructure.

Dr. Alexei Kouprianov (FSO Bremen)


Alexei Kouprianov is responsible for development and maintenance of the platform.

Data Curators

Our curators

Registered users who have actively participated in the communication on Discuss Data (mainly through comments) and proven their expertise can either volunteer or be approached by Discuss Data for the role of curator. If they are accepted/accept, they will be gradually integrated into the editorial process of Discuss Data under the guidance of existing curators.

In the early stages of the project, members of the Discuss Data team in Bremen will fulfil the role of curators. The long-term goal of the project is to establish a community-driven and organised online platform.

Currently, the curators for the main categories are:

Archival Materials: Felix Hermann, Alissa Klots

Civil Society and Interest Groups: Oksana Chorna

Corruption: Dr. Eduard Klein

Economic History and Economics: Felix Herrmann, Dr. Ekaterina Paustyan

Education: Dr. Eduard Klein

Elections and Referendums: Stas Gorelik

Elites: Dr. Fabian Burkhardt, Dr. Eduard Klein

GDR Research: Charlotta Cordes, Felix Herrmann

Journalistic and Social media: Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines

Migration and Displacement: Ekaterina Vorobeva

Miscellaneous: Dr. Eduard Klein, Felix Herrmann

Political Parties and Politicians: Dr. Jan-Matti Dollbaum

Protests: Dr. Jan-Matti Dollbaum, Dr. Svetlana Erpyleva

Public Opinion: Prof. Dr. Heiko Pleines

Security: Dr. Huseyn Aliev

Social Policy: Dr. Andreas Heinrich, Dr. Gulnaz Isabekova

The Ombudsperson, responsible for complaints and arbitration, is Prof. Dr. Ingo Rohlfing.

Advisory Board

The Discuss Data team is supported by an international advisory board constituted of acknowledged experts from various fields of research: