NF­DI4­Cul­ture: New in­form­a­tion portal for cul­tur­al re­search data

 |  Research

Paderborn University involved in the development of a digital knowledge repository

Research data is often stored in different places and in different ways. To change this, the German federal and state governments have decided to set up a ‘national research data infrastructure’ (NFDI). The aim of the NFDI is to systematically manage scientific and research data, in order to store and make this data accessible in a networked knowledge repository. One of the in total nine focal areas selected in the first round of calls for proposals is tangible and intangible cultural assets. For around a year now, the NFDI4Culture consortium, in which Paderborn University’s Centre for Music, Edition, Media (ZenMEM) is involved, has been focusing on the establishment of a needs-based infrastructure for research data, ranging from architecture, art history and musicology to theatre, dance, film and media studies. The first result of the project is the publication of the consortium’s new Information Portal, which will make it easier for users to find and use the consortium’s offerings:

Various service offerings are accessible via the portal. The registry, for example, gathers and records metadata about existing research tools and data services that are specifically suitable for cultural studies and evaluates them in terms of their sustainability. The Culture Knowledge Graph makes research data searchable, while the Helpdesk enables users to ask questions about handling the data and software via a contact form and to receive support in drafting applications for third-party funding. The portal also provides information on current NFDI4Culture developments and events in the ‘News & Events’ section.

Daniel Röwenstrunk, business IT specialist and Manager of ZenMEM, works in the ‘Research tools and data services’ task area within the consortium. “A key goal of the NFDI4Culture Information Portal is to provide a single point of contact for researchers with questions about working with digital research objects and methodologies. In addition to sharing knowledge through the deposited resources, the various helpdesks will work to resolve individual problems and make the resulting solutions available in the form of best-practice guidelines,” says Röwenstrunk on the importance of the portal for the scientific and research community.

Data collection pursuant to uniform standards

All information is linguistically modelled and continuously updated on the platform. The persons, organisations and offers are stored in the portal as structured data, pursuant to the recommended EU standard for the collection of information on research activities, and can be accessed both via the user interface and via a Linked Open Data interface (LOD-API), so that they are made available for free use and further dissemination. All content is developed and maintained by a consortium editorial team and published in both English and German. The NFDI4Culture Information Portal has been created at the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz by a team from all the participating institutions.

About the NFDI4Culture consortium

NFDI4Culture is one of a total of nine consortia selected on the basis of a funding recommendation from the German Research Foundation (DFG) in the first funding round for NFDI proposals. The consortium comprises eleven academic societies, 55 partners and nine participating institutions. In addition to the universities of Paderborn, Cologne, Marburg and Heidelberg, the latter are three infrastructure institutions (FIZ Karlsruhe, the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) in Hanover, the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB Dresden), the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) and, leading the project, the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz.

Photo (Paderborn University): Business IT graduate Daniel Röwenstrunk is jointly responsible for the ‘Research tools and data services’ task area with the University of Cologne.