Generating, processing, disseminating, and archiving scientific and scholarly knowledge is changing in a fundamental way. In the future, researchers from all over the world will cooperate, collaborate, and communicate throughout the whole process of knowledge generation by means of e-research environments. Typical scenarios include storing, manipulating, enriching, disseminating, and publishing not only of the final results of the research process, but of all intermediate steps as well, such as pre-research documents, primary and experimental data, pre-prints, and learning materials.
Thus, the result of the eSciDoc project is intended to ensure open and persistent access to research results and materials of scientific institutions and research organizations, like the Max Planck Society. eSciDoc will integrate these materials in an emerging e-research network, increase the accountability of research and to improve the visibility of these institutions and organizations. At the same time, the project aims to provide effective and comprehensive access to information for researchers and their work groups. Additionally, eSciDoc will support scientific collaboration and interdisciplinary research in future e-science scenarios and optimize the exploitation of information available through an interconnected global scientific knowledge space.
- “Equally, if not more important than its own data and information needs, today’s research community must also assume responsibility for building a robust dataand information infrastructure for the future.“
- (International CouncilforScience, ICSU, 2004).
Advances in science, scientific activities and processes will arise from unhindered international collaboration among scholars. To exempt researchers from barriers of physical location of knowledge (data) and know-how (individuals), a solid infrastructure to provide data storage, interoperability and seamless integration into community-specific working environments is necessary. The technical and technological means provided by a scientific infrastructure are fundamentals in enabling e-Science, however, the essential requirement to enable innovation and research is the adequate working environment for scholarly communities.
Even within a discipline, the requirements for a specific application might differ, be it in presentation aspects or functionalities. Therefore, the functional requirements for the eSciDoc project are threefold: provide community-specific solutions which serve the needs of a specific research group or research question, provide standardized interfaces for other communities or systems to re-use data and functionalities, and provide adequate user interfaces and viewing environments where necessary.