Third-party funded project

Repository for Policy Documents (REPOD)

Research department: Economy and Civil Society Research Support and Communication

Project Leader within IRS: Prof. Dr. Oliver Ibert

Project Team: Alica Repenning Dr. Felix Claus Müller

Consortium: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (Coordination) Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society Leibniz Institute for Media Research, Hans Bredow Institute (HBI) RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research

Funding Organization: Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)

Duration: 02/2023 - 01/2024

Scientific advice to politics and society has become increasingly important in recent years and has also become more and more differentiated. Most recently, the Corona pandemic and the war of aggression in Ukraine have shown that in a time of crisis, new demands must be made on the communication flows between politics and research. Precisely fitting, interdisciplinary and up-to-date advice is particularly in demand in such a situation. In the course of this, the relevance of the existing institutions of scientific policy and societal advice have come into focus. But their limitations have also been pointed out.

Policy papers, expert reports and studies are central instruments of science-based political and societal advice. However, if you want to read these texts, you have to work your way through the websites of the various institutions, which have to be known by name beforehand. At present, they are not specifically searchable.

This problem is being addressed by the joint project "Repository for Policy Documents" (REPOD). Funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), a digital infrastructure facility will be set up by the end of 2023 that will record a wide range of scientific advisory documents across disciplines and make them specifically searchable for both decision-makers and the interested public.

In order to optimise this knowledge transfer from research to politics, administration and society, processes of creation of advisory documents, quality criteria and conditions of use are being scientifically investigated. In cooperation with the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute, the IRS takes a look at the entire process of agenda setting, professional exchange, creation, use and updating of policy advisory documents. The team at the IRS focuses primarily on the side of use, i.e. that of political decision-makers and administrative experts. What role do advisory documents play for these actors? How are they searched for and how are they used? How can the documents be designed so that they are relevant for the users? Through a better understanding of the contexts of creation and use, research-based policy and societal advice can be organised in a more demand-oriented way. The findings of the accompanying research flow directly into the development of the repository and should help to make it more user-friendly and practical.

The REPOD research consortium is headed by the ZBW - (Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). It also includes the IRS, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans Bredow Institute (HBI), the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research and, as an associated partner, the Leibniz Association.


Research-led policy and societal advice has gained enormous importance in recent years. Political decisions are increasingly based on diverse empirical research results and expert opinions. However, searching for these advisory documents can be tedious and time-consuming, as they are scattered on various websites and often cannot be searched specifically. For this reason, the Repository for Policy Documents (REPOD) is now being launched. With REPOD, a digital repository is being established that makes advisory documents searchable in a targeted manner across disciplines and ensures uniform quality assurance. The goal is to create an information and advisory infrastructure for policy-makers and society by the end of 2023 that will make the transfer of knowledge from research much easier. more info