Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - English

Data Protection at the BSS

Data Protection Declaration

Dear scientist,

Data protection is important to us!

Below you will find all the information on data protection in relation to the BSS.

You can also download the privacy policy here

1. Designation of the processing activity

What is the "Berlin Science Survey"?

The Berlin Science Survey (BSS) is a regular scientific observation of the Berlin research landscape with a view to identifying changes in research culture and practices. For this purpose, the experiences and opinions of scientists in the Berlin research landscape are surveyed at regular intervals. The research results critically assess the measures of the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) and contribute important knowledge to science studies. Further information on the study can be found at

Who conducts the BSS?

The BSS is conducted by the Robert K. Merton Center for Science Studies (RMZ). The project is funded by the BUA and is located in Objective 3
The RMZ is an interdisciplinary center at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin for research into the functioning of the science system. Detailed information about us and a number of our publications can be found at: and:

How did you receive the invitation to participate in the survey?

You received this invitation because you are working as a scientist (professor, scientist with a PhD or scientist without a PhD) at a German university or research institution.

We used several different methods in order to reach all scientists working in Berlin.

I. Address research on the websites of the research institutions

In most cases: Your name in combination with your e-mail address (contact data) were taken manually or possibly semi-automatically from the website of your institution. Your contact data are not part of a mailing list and will only be used to invite and remind you to participate in the Berlin Science Survey.

II. Address mediation procedure

  1. Internal communication channels of institutions

For some institutions, the contact data of scientists could not be collected on the website, so the invitations were sent via internal mailing lists of the respective institutions. As a result, the invitation letters are not personalized and no personalized reminders can be sent. In these cases, we do not have access to the contact data of the scientists from those institutions.

  1. Address transmission via trustee office

In this case we were also unable to collect any contact data via the website of the institution. Personalized invitations and reminders are sent by a trustee office within the relevant institution. The contact data remain within that institution. For the reminder letters, only the IDs of persons that need to be reminded are communicated to the trustee office. We do not have access to contact data of the scientists from those institutions. As of January 2024, this only applies to Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

2. Name and contact details of the party responsible

According to Art. 4 GDPR, the party responsible is the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin. The party internally responsible for the study, i.e. the executing agency, is the RMZ, Schönhauser Allee 10/11, in 10119 Berlin, represented by the director Prof. Martin Reinhart and the deputy director Prof. Dr. Vivien Petras. In addition, Dr. Jens Ambrasat is involved in the study as project leader and Dr. Denise Lüdtke as project collaborator.

Contact details of the executing scientists:

Jens Ambrasat,, Tel. 030-2093-65882

Denise Lüdtke,, Tel. 030-2093-65882

3. Contact details of the data protection officer:

Gesine Hoffmann-Holland,, tel. 030-2093-20020
Postal address:

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Behördliche Datenschutzbeauftragte
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin

4. Purposes and legal bases of the processing:

What happens to your data?

Data is collected exclusively for scientific purposes within the framework of the BUA-funded research project Berlin Science Survey.

Your contact data will be used to send you letters of invitation and, if necessary, reminders. The legal basis for data processing (use of contact details for invitations and reminders to participate in the study) is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. e GDPR in conjunction with. § 4 BerlHG, § 3 BlnDSG (fulfillment of tasks).

In addition, we use your contact data to invite you to further surveys as part of the Berlin Science Survey project. The legal basis here is your consent to participate (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a GDPR).

The legal basis for the processing of the survey data is also your consent to participate in the survey (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a GDPR).

What data is collected, and how?

The survey is conducted using the online survey software Limesurvey provided by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin on the HU servers. Two different types of data will be collected during the survey: your content information (hereinafter referred to as survey data), as well as technical details about the survey: the time you answered the questions, the progress (or drop-out), and the duration of the survey (so-called paradata). This information is necessary for the smooth running of the survey, the subsequent data processing and the assurance of data quality. Survey data include information on research practices, attitudes and opinions, as well as structural characteristics such as gender, subject group, status group, and annual information regarding the duration of membership in the current status group.

The results of survey are anonymous and it is not possible to relate them to a specific person. If there is any possibility that a personal reference might result from the combinations of your answers, we will process the raw survey data in such a way that the personal reference is eliminated. A personal reference is not desired at any time and will be removed immediately. Any personal reference is excluded in the presentation of the results.

The RMZ project team analyses your survey data for the purposes of science research. In publications, results are only presented in aggregated form, so that no conclusions can be drawn about individuals. For the purpose of archiving and subsequent use by other scientists and students, the data is anonymized and processed as Scientific Use Files (SUF).

5. Recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data

The recipient of the data is exclusively the project team at the RMZ. No personal data will be passed on to third parties.

6. Duration of storage of personal data:

The contact details of persons who have not consented to the study will be deleted after the end of the field phase, at the latest on April 30, 2024.

The RMZ project team will only use the contact data of those who participated in the study with consent to send invitations and reminders for further surveys within the project. These contact details will be deleted at the end of the "Berlin Science Survey" project on October 31, 2026.

The contact data will be treated as strictly confidential and will not be passed on to third parties - access to the data by the Limesurvey administration is also not possible. They are stored separately from the survey data collected in the survey.

If you would like to inform us of any changes to your contact details, please contact us at the following email address:

You can contradict to the use of your contact data at any time. To do so, simply send an email to: If you contradict to the use of your contact data, we will delete your contact data (name, status group, gender and e-mail address) in our address database and at the same time note your e-mail address in a separate database. This so-called blacklisting is used for comparison in the event of new mailings and prevents us from writing to people again who have disagreed to being contacted.

7. Rights of data subjects, revocation notices, right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority

With regard to your personal data, you may assert the following rights against the authority responsible for data collection at any time:

- Right to acquire information about your stored data in accordance with Art. 15 GDPR: If a person’s personal data is processed, the person has, in principle, a right to be informed about this data. 

- Right to rectify your data according to Art. 16 of the GDPR: Under this right, individuals may request the immediate rectification of inaccurate or incomplete data processed about him or her.

- Right to restrict the purposes for which the data is used in accordance with Art. 18 of the GDPR: Individuals have the right to request that the authority responsible restrict processing.

- Right to erasure under Art. 17 GDPR: Individuals have the right to require the responsible authority to delete personal data concerning him or her without undue delay.

- Right to object pursuant to Art. 21 GDPR: Individuals have the right to object, on grounds relating to his or her particular situation, at any time to processing of personal data concerning him or her which is based on point (e) or (f) of Article 6(1).

- Right to withdraw your consent with effect for the future in accordance with Art. 7 GDPR: Individuals have the right to withdraw their consent at any time.

In addition, you have a right to complain to a member state supervisory authority. The competent supervisory authority for Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin is the Berlin Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information, Alt-Moabit 59-61, 10555 Berlin, In addition, you have the right to contact the Data Protection Officer of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Gesine Hoffmann-Holland, tel: +49 (30) 2093-20022, email: and raise your concerns.

If you wish to exercise any of the rights mentioned above, or for information about the research project, please feel free to contact the scientific staff at the following email address:

Your Berlin Science Survey Team!