Academies in the NFDI
Position paper of the Union of Academies on the creation of a national research data infrastructure
The academies of sciences and humanities consider the establishment of sustainable infrastructures for the provision and maintenance of research data to be urgently required. This also applies in particular to the humanities, in order to ensure the long-term preservation of the available research data and results. The academies see it as their task to participate both in the discussion about the design and in the development of a corresponding proposal. They have therefore been involved in the initiative to set up a National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) right from the start.
The academies are involved in leading positions in the two approved humanities NFDI consortia 4Culture and Text+. In addition, all academies, the Union of Academies and the Leopoldina are institutional members.
Building a reliable research data infrastructure for the humanities is key to using digital methods in the humanities. For without a capable research data infrastructure, the use of digital processes in the humanities will always be fraught with concerns about the loss of digitally stored knowledge, or its becoming unusable. The opportunities that digital methods open up in humanities research can only be fully exploited with a research data infrastructure designed for the long term.
The German academies have a special position within humanities research. With their editions, dictionaries, encyclopedias and indexing projects, which are produced within the framework of the Academies Programme, the joint research programme of the academies, the academies make a key contribution to foundational research in the humanities. The German academies are therefore familiar with the requirements of the long-term creation and maintenance of humanities research data and already have extensive expertise in digital development and the provision of custom-made software tools and services. They have also built an excellent network with other research institutions.
In the particularly central area of the long-term provision of research data and results of the Academies Programme, the member academies of the Union have been cooperating closely with the relevant national and international players in the field of research infrastructure for many years. They have either extensive experience in working with subject-specific repositories, datacentres and memory facilities or organise the long-term access to results, research data and software by themselves. They play a leading role in the discussions of standardisation both on the research data side and in software development, as can be seen not least from their extensive participation in the NFDI process. The consortium NFDI4Culture coordinated by the Academy of Sciences and Literature | Mainz has been approved in June 2020, a second consortium, Text+, which deals with the development of a language and text-based research data infrastructure, was also approved in July 2021.
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