I have been tracking national research initiatives in Australia, Canada, UK and USA in various blogs over previous months. Another potentially very important national initiative can now be added to the list from Germany.
An alliance of scientific organisations in Germany which includes all the majors players such as Deutsche Forschungsgemeinshaft (DFG, the German Research Foundation), Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, and the Max Planck Society, have signed a joint national e-infrastructure policy initiative with six priority areas focusing on:
- National licencing of e-journals;
- Open Access;
- National hosting strategy for preservation of e-journals;
- Preservation and re-use of primary research data;
- Virtual research environments; and
- Legal frameworks (focusing on copyright law and equalising VAT treatment on print and electronic publications).
The Alliance agreed to coordinate the activities of the individual partner organisations and to expand on the ideal of the innovative information environment by means of a Joint Priority Initiative from 2008 to 2012 with the following goals:
- to guarantee the broadest possible access to digital publications, digital data and other source materials;
- to utilise digital media to create the ideal conditions for the distribution and reception of publications related to German research;
- to ensure the long-term availability of the digital media and contents that have been acquired from round the world and their integration in the digital research environment;
- to support collaborative research by means of innovative information technologies.