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FIZ Karlsruhe and the Max Planck Society (MPS) have been awarded funding of 6.1 million Euro to develop a new platform for web-based collaborative scientific work.

The new project eSciDoc will be jointly managed by FIZ Karlsruhe and MPS, who have entered into a strategic partnership for the purpose. FIZ Karlsruhe will provide development and IT services, and will operate central services. The intention is to create an integrated information, communication and publication platform for web-based scientific work so that scientists working in the 80 research institutes of the Max Planck Society can collaborate together. The funding for eSciDoc which will last for five years is being provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), under the framework of the German national eScience initiative. eSciDoc will address all aspects of scientific communication, from the creation and editing of information, the sharing of data with peers, and the publication of research results, to the storage and long-term archiving of research papers. It will include interactive tools and will be able to handle multiple data sources and types, including video and audio. The ability to link to external data sources will also form an integral part of the new platform. As part of a commitment to the aims of the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities signed by MPS last October eSciDoc will also enable MPS scientists to publish their research on the Internet, making it available to other researchers around the world, as well as to the public. The results of the project will also be shared with other scientific organisations and it is envisaged that with appropriate modifications the system will in the future be utilised as a publication and communication platform by other research institutions too. Individual services developed by FIZ Karlsruhe as part of the project e.g. system modules, software tools and interfaces may also be made available to other scientific institutions as open source tools, enabling them to be used in a variety of other environments. This new innovative working environment will enable any scientist around the world wherever they live, whatever their field of research to communicate professionally with their peers, explains Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, Managing Director and CEO of FIZ Karlsruhe. At the same time, they will be able to retrieve information from various international sources, and to publish their research results online. She adds: An important prerequisite for unlimited access to research results is a sustainable environment to support the publishing and sharing of multidisciplinary scientific results, and their exploitation for cross-disciplinary purposes. As yet all the necessary organisational and technical requirements have yet to be put in place: there remains a need, for instance, to develop rugged standards and a suitable international infrastructure. The best way of achieving this is through close collaboration between appropriate national and international initiatives. We envisage eSciDoc playing an important part in this process. Through a project called D-Grid, for instance, the BMBF is also funding the development of so-called Grid Services. This will support scientific partnerships by means of high-performance computer resources and distributed databases. As such it offers significant potential synergy with eSciDoc. It is anticipated that the project will also assist FIZ Karlsruhe build closer links with other institutions in the future, thereby strengthening its position as a service provider for the scientific community. Being a service institution for scientific information, we look forward to co-operating in this important innovative project with such a renowned research institution as the MPS, says Sabine Brünger-Weilandt. FIZ Karlsruhe will bring to eSciDoc its considerable experience and expertise in building publication platforms and developing and operating scientific information systems. Involvement in this pioneering project fits with FIZ Karlsruhes dual strategy of providing service and advice to both industry and science, and will help position it more strongly as a service provider for information and knowledge management. The partnership with the MPS has been warmly welcomed by the Leibniz Association, of which FIZ Karlsruhe is a member organisation. The project will be jointly managed by Ms. Theresa Velden, of the Max Planck Societys Heinz Nixdorf Center for Information Management, and Dr. Leni Helmes of FIZ Karlsruhe. For further information on this project, please contact: ,FIZ Karlsruhe,Dr. Leni Helmes, Project Manager,Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1,76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany,Phone +49-07247/808-408,E-mail:, Links for further information:, and Press contact: ,FIZ Karlsruhe, Rüdiger Mack,Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1,76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany,Phone: +49-7247/808-513, Fax +49-7247/808-136,E-mail: This press release is available online at:, non-profit scientific service institution, FIZ Karlsruhe is dedicated to providing scientific and technical information services in the fields of research, development, and education, particularly their application to industry, business and administration. In co-operation with national and international institutions, FIZ Karlsruhe produces databases in the fields of energy, nuclear research and technology, crystallography, polymer technology, mathematics, computer science and physics, and it provides a search service for R&D in corporations and institutions. FIZ Karlsruhe also operates STN International in Europe. STN International (The Scientific & Technical Information Network) is one of the worlds leading online services offering access to bibliographic, factual and full-text databases in science and technology. At present, STNs comprehensive product range encompasses more than 220 databases with approximately 450 million documents from all fields of science and technology, among them the worlds largest and most important patent files. STN International is jointly operated by FIZ Karlsruhe, Germany; Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), Columbus, OH, USA; and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Tokyo.